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Billy
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Dr. Deb

First off, I would like to say that you have wonderful information to teach the world, however, I do want to know what your beef is with XXXXXXXX

 

Billy

Billy, it is against the rules we have established here to mention any clinician's name other than those on our recommended list (see the main section of this Website under "Friends of the Institute"). The suggestion you received at the bottom of this thread from Helen, that you use the search function to look for references to 'natural' horsemanship, should answer your question adequately, but if you read those things and still wish to ask about it, then please feel free to write back. -- Dr. Deb

Last edited on Mon Oct 20th, 2008 03:48 am by DrDeb

AdamTill
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Would be a shorter response if you asked what she liked about him, I'd imagine.

Though I can't remember where the forum rules are listed, somewhere it says that any mention of folks not on the Friends of ESI list is not permitted on the forums. I'd imagine this thread will be deleted shortly.


Helen
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Type "natural horsemanship" into the search... you should get some stuff about why she disagrees with the methods used under this heading, which includes the man mentioned.

Billy
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Well Dr. Deb

It's interesting that you can't mention  XXXXX's name here as you bash him at your presentations.  You are a disgusting, foul mouthed, sick woman and should I mention terribly unattractive.  Many people were disgusted with your lack of social awareness, foul language and unprofessionalism and will never return to hear your garbage again.

Last edited on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 03:21 am by DrDeb

AdamTill
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Wow, way to lose all credibility there, Billy. Nice.

Obie
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Hello Billy,

Be honest with yourself when I ask you this question.

Is there any other reason you chose to visit this sight other than to to create hate and discontent?

Linda D

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Billy,

What is it about yourself you so desperately do not like that you have to sling such insults at others?

Does this really make you feel better?

Erin

Billy
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Well, if you were at the presentation this weekend and heard her refer to XXXX as an A..hole repeatedly, bash XXXX and XXXX, use profanity the entire time she speaks and have absolutely no social skills...you would understand.  People were talking at the breaks like they had never seen such unprofessionalism.  Trust me, it was a disgrace!!!

Last edited on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 06:12 am by DrDeb

Eileen W
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I was at your presentation this weekend and can certainly say that  over 40 years with horses and clinics I haven't been so thrilled with a presentation. The feeling was similar with most everyone I spoke with.  I feel sorry for the person who threw out hollow insults as it is obvious that he may have been present in person at the symposium but didn't not HEAR what was being said and gifted to everyone in attendance. His (her) horses will be the biggest losers in all of this. Thank you Dr. Deb. 

AdamTill
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Again, that subset of gentlemen is not on the list of Friends of ESI, and for good reason frankly. I for one appreciate this site as a cool-aid free zone.

You're not going to accomplish anything here with that attitude Billy, if you actually have anything in mind to accomplish.

Billy backer
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"What is it about yourself you so desperately do not like that you have to sling such insults at others?"

 

I'm not a phd.. lets ask Dr. Deb maybe she can answer

Helen
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Billy and "Billy Backer" (are you the same person? I'm confused) it would be helpful if you could make it clearer for us what you are hoping to get out of this exchange. Do you want DD to come out and say "Oh my gosh, you're right, I've been unfairly targeting these people for all these years and you've changed my mind completely"? The method of your address suggests this isn't the case. Do you want her to come online and abuse the clinician mentioned so that you can go back to your friends and tell them all what a b*tch Deb Bennet is? Or are you actually wanting to hear the reasoning behind her disregard for these clinicians and their training methods, the reasoning which is part of why she has such a large number of keen students?

We literally cannot engage in discussion with you if you don't give us anything to engage with.

Peace,
Helen

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The simple point of the thread was in the hope that Dr. Deb might read this and realize that foul language and name calling is highly unprofessional. My only regret is that I too stooped to such a level. I'm Sorry if I offended the regulars on this board, that was not my intent. It's a shame that sometimes the message gets lost in the delivery, I guess I learned something today myself.

From Dr. Deb: You did indeed, Billy. Good thing I have the power (which ordinary Forum readers do not) to XXX-out the names YOU have been naming. If you do not QUIT putting names here, I warn you that I also have the power to disable your access to this space.

As I point out in my reply to you below, at NO time during the public presentation did I ever say anyone's name out loud of whom I disapprove. It is you, Billy, who are supplying the names because you believe you know to whom I was referring. That's your best guess, and indeed, your guesses might be good ones. But as I say below -- really in fact, it does not matter to whom I might have been referring, because the "wannabees" and third-rate crowd are all alike. As to calling anybody an asshole, you and I both know that I said that to you in private. And the next thing I heard after speaking with you, was you repeating what I had said to you in private to your girlfriends. You prove by your action there, and also by your posts here, Billy, that you are both petty and untrustworhy -- you gossip, you insult, and you exaggerate in order to engender support, rather than sticking to the truth. In short, you act like a high school queen. And you miss the whole point: I am trying to help you. Go and read my longer reply to you below then, and see whether that might not also be of help to you. -- Dr. Deb

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 09:44 am by DrDeb

Wendy
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Every day I eagerly await my lunch break so that I can go online and read horse 'conversations' on this forum.  When Dr Deb visits our country each year I move heaven and earth to attend her lectures or clinics.  I could not wish for a better mentor.

Could we go back to 'horse talk' please?

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Hi Billy- Several years ago I was given XX's "XXX training" tape. I didn't find it particularly helpful, but I didn't think poorly of him. However, the following year I saw him at a horse expo; he rode into the arena like a rock star and put his mare into a very tense piaffe while people applauded a performance that made me cringe. So when I learned he considered the Dorrance brothers and Ray Hunt to be some of his teachers, I - who had barely heard of those men here on East Coast- didn't bother to look into them. You know, I figured he must have taken the best those older gentlemen had to offer, so why search out their books for myself when I wasn't impressed with their student? Clearly, now, I see I couldn't have been more wrong. Yet, I doubt I'm the only person to have made this mistake. On a somewhat different note, sometimes a passion for the truth- and a frustration with teachers who abuse their position- makes me say some less than polite things about such teachers. Some years ago while innocently flipping through a book by a well known female clinician, I'm pretty sure I swore out loud in my local bookstore. The book was about how to "understand" a horse's personality based on its head shape! Apparently this woman forgot to include in her book, next to photos of horse's heads, the historical precedent for her methods-- Hitler's posters meant to educate people on how to classify Jews as inferior based on the shapes of their heads, to say nothing of phrenology's earlier use against black people. Yet among all the equine professionals who should have spoken up against this book, I heard no-one utter a peep but Dr. Deb.      As Helen said-- Peace- Elynne                        

Last edited on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 06:49 am by DrDeb

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Tutora wrote:
Some years ago while innocently flipping through a book by a well known female clinician, I'm pretty sure I swore out loud in my local bookstore. The book was about how to "understand" a horse's personality based on its head shape! Apparently this woman forgot to include in her book, next to photos of horse's heads, the historical precedent for her methods-- Hitler's posters meant to educate people on how to classify Jews as inferior based on the shapes of their heads, to say nothing of phrenology's earlier use against black people. Yet among all the equine professionals who should have spoken up against this book, I heard no-one utter a peep but Dr. Deb.      As Helen said-- Peace- Elynne                        

I am often amazed at the information and tidbits I pick up on threads on this forum.

In the middle of a negative thread, here is an interesting piece of information that I never knew!

DrDeb
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Folks, on this thread -- Adam predicted I would pull it completely, but you know, I'm inclined to leave ugly posts in many cases, so that the person -- in this instance "Billy" -- will have time over the next several years to re-read what she has written and perhaps mature to a place where she will be able to hear herself.

The reason Billy writes in the tone that she does, is of course because she's a fan of the clinician we're referring to as XXXX. Her work along his methodological lines, she feels, has benefitted her horse; and as I suggested at the actual seminar where she heard me say it, maybe this is because the level of her horsemanship totally sucked eggs before that time.

It also must be pointed out that at NO time during the seminar that "Billy" attended did I ever say clinician XXXX's name out loud. I never do this at live presentations anymore than I do it, or will permit it to be done, here in the Forum. It is Billy herself who has twice broken this rule, because Billy wants to get this discussion into the zone of "I want to defend this clinician," or "I think clinician X is better than clinician Y". I never permit this, not only because it draws the discussion away from principles and into the muddy area of personalities, but also because the issues at stake here are not, for me, at all personal. You see, I could easily have been referring not to one particular clinican of whose work I disapprove, but to about a dozen wannabees and third-rate performers who are currently victimizing innocent horse owners -- they are all alike.

"Billy's" vehemence has another root as well. We have all noticed that people who go through the schools of these well self-advertised and ego-driven individuals quickly become indoctrinated. They become invested emotionally, and also financially, and then display the very human tendency to defend that which they have already spent considerable money on. After that, any criticism of their guru certainly does become a personal issue to "Billy" and others who are stuck in the same pit as she currently is.

Because I've been in the game a long time, however, I also know something else: 99% (no kidding, I mean "damn near all") the people who go to these schools and clinics, and who become indoctrinated, and who initially believe with all their heart in the particular guru, quit him in the end. Billy will also leave in the end -- when she figures out that they are going to take more and more of her money, and that this is their primary interest in her. This is most likely to occur when her local "licensed" instructor figures out that SHE is nothing more than a toy and a loser in a pyramid scheme, and in bitterness quits the chief guru and starts speaking ill of him to Billy and her other students. This is the way is has repeatedly worked in the past, and this is the way it will continue to work, because Billy and her kind are, to the people at the top in her organization, mere fodder.

So Billy asks what's my beef, and I am telling you. What drives me to do this? Concern for Billy, of course, even if Billy can't quite see that. To be specific, I am telling you that the techniques taught in clinician XXX's school are mis-taught. That the effect on the horse and the inner meaning to the horse is not considered, and that's why Helen reports that clinician XXXX's flashy horse, though it performs, is pissing down its hind leg the whole time. I have of course seen this with my own eyes. I see the same tension in all the horses that are asked to lie down, or jump, or "come" in the roundpen, or do any other form of performance, during clinician XXXX's public demonstrations. To knowledgeable horsemen -- which means "to those who have the eyes to see" -- this is proof positive that in a very deep and serious way, the chief guru does not know what he is doing, and worse, cares more about his personal fame and the admiration that Billy might give him, than he cares about horses.

When Billy came up to me to explain that HER teacher practices "natural dressage," I had to disabuse her of this false idea also. There is no such thing as "natural", whether it's in clinician XXXX's school, or in any other context in which we work with domesticated horses. Like very many other people, Billy hasn't yet realized the power of that word "natural" to muddy up peoples' thinking. "Natural" is the all-time champion way to sell bars of soap. When Billy, and others like her, brag that they are doing some form of "natural" horsemanship, what they really mean is that their horsemanship is superior, and they derive a secret (or sometimes not very secret) glee in believing that THEY are doing it the "right" way -- the "natural" way.

But we can plainly see that this is not so. There is nothing whatsoever superior in riding a horse in a rope halter, longeing him with a rope and spinner rather than a web line and a whip, touching him with an orange or white-colored stick than a stick that is colored brown or purple. Bitless, bareback, and barefoot are not better; these are mere slogans, oversimplifications that are very effective with beginners when their actual knowledge and experience is limited. The point is that unless the person understands what their each and every approach and gesture means TO THE HORSE, their practice of horsemanship will be destructive of the horse, and of their relationship with their horse.

The names I certainly did name out loud at the seminar that Billy attended were those of the people whose names I regularly name here: Ray Hunt, Harry Whitney, Tom Curtin, Bryan Neubert, and (since the seminar was in Canada), particularly Josh Nichol. I told Billy and everyone else to please go out of their way to find these folks, who will tell you straight, who don't operate pyramid schemes or licensing systems, who don't need Billy or anyone else to fill up some kind of howling black hole within themselves, and who have a good understanding not only of technique but more importantly of deep work.

This is it, Billy: now you have been personally answered for a second and even a third time. You can take it or leave it. And if you want to be a priss, you can go right on complaining about my sometimes colorful vocabulary -- everyone else laughed, when you were being grim, petty-minded, and judgemental. So if my language offends you, honey, let me remind you that there's a whole great big wide world out there, and I invite you to go find some teacher you like better. The rest of us had a total ball at the seminar you attended -- I haven't had such fun at a weekend intensive in a long time, and they have already invited me back for next year. 

I understand that this is all rather hard for you, and want to make sure that you know that, if you choose to study with me, you're still welcome; you can start over fresh anytime you choose. But you WILL have to start completely over, beginning with a sincere apology to me and to others who read here -- make no mistake about that.  Best wishes, and in the interim, please go find Josh Nichol -- Dr. Deb

 

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I am thrilled that UofG has invited you back next year, Dr. Deb. I will be there. After a year of reading your writing, it was enormously helpful to hear you speak as it really solidified things in my mind. Going back to the Principles of Conformation now, I find that I understand so much better. The timing was terrific as well. They say that when the student is ready the teacher appears.

I have a young mare who I have started using Mike Schaffer's techniques in his Right From the Start and watching his working videos. The results have been amazing, and now I feel I have a much better understanding of WHY they work.

Thank you again, for visiting our part of the world, and being so generous with your knowledge. Your love of the horse is evident. And I like your style.

Cheers

Victoria

 

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Dr.Deb
 
Wow.. You really are a self-righteous women aren't you? Convinced, like many others in your profession that you are correct and the others are wrong. I keep an open mind as in evidence in the fact that I went to your seminar and many others for that matter.. And childish too, do you really think referring to someone by there initials somehow clears you of name calling? You may be a self proclaimed brilliant horsewoman, good for you, but you come across more like someone who cleans the stalls.  Sad that you supposedly have a PHD and yet you never took a marketing course.  So while you teach to a venue of 40 students, others in your profession fill stadiums. Their success must annoy you even more than their lack of horsemanship.  I'd like to think you have better things to do than to try and educate me on your forum, the chance to do that was at your seminar.  


Billy, this is Dr. Deb.

1. Marketing success is not "success" as I would define it. I have no desire to fill stadiums (it's hard to talk to people the way I want to talk to them -- one on one -- in a stadium setting).

2. Referring to someone by their initials or by a characteristic (i.e. 'they're on TV') identifies the person only to those who already know the person, such as yourself. One of the reasons I did this was to make sure that you, Billy, got the message. Others in the audience may or may not have known who was being referred to, and many of them probably didn't care. But I thought I would try pretty hard to help YOU.

3. It's true, Billy -- I've cleaned many stalls in my time. Very satisfying work, too, that is, and an integral part of horsemanship.


I must say you are a very intelligent woman and this, I never doubted.  However, your "colorful language" as you say can leave someone's feeling quite "turned off" with you.  I approached you to ask you about"dressage naturally" and if you had heard of it. I didn't even ask you about Clinician X until you cut me off and started your rant on "natural horsemanship".  These are only semantics, Dr. Deb.  What someone chooses to call their method is entirely up to them.   And no I do not believe that I am "superior" because I use the term "natural".  Again, these are only semantics. 

There's no such thing as 'natural' in any form of horsemanship, Billy. 'Natural horsemanship' is a contradiction in terms -- an oxymoron. This is about the tenth time I've mentioned this to you. There might be a reason -- what could it be?


 You behaved like a 'bully".  In the curriculum in Ontario, we are teaching children about "anti-bullying".  You are exactly what we are teaching our children not to be.  This is a sign of a very weak character.  I guess you could have benefited from these teachings when you were a child.   

Sometimes, Billy, when the student or the child -- and here I am referring to yourself -- is unable or unwilling to listen, it is necessary for the teacher to increase the firmness. The other option, of course, would have been for me to simply smile and give you a superficial type of reply -- or even lie to you just to get rid of you. So you feel bullied when the teacher is merely being frank and emphatic -- this is not my problem. Again, if you won't believe it when somebody who knows better than you is giving you a warning, then you'll just have to go and find someone you like to talk to better.


I'd like to address your comment that people in this program believe they are "superior". I do not think this is a fair statement to accuse any person who learns from the program of thinking they are "superior". Again, this is bully like behavior on your part and suggests a weak character.

It would help you quite a lot, Billy, to go and read some C.S. Lewis. You'll be better equipped after that to be a judge of character. Two of my favorites that directly speak to the often-obnoxious, often-infantile behavior of people who allow themselves to be indoctrinated are "The Screwtape Letters" and "The Great Divorce" (which is not about getting a divorce, but rather about the distance or difference between heaven and hell).

I understand what you are saying about the emotional and financial investment which may cause a person to defend their teacher and to some extent I do agree with your views on this. I see this with many of the students.  It is not their fault, do not blame or attack them.  YOU attacked me.  That is how I felt. 

Yes, Billy, I am aware that is how you felt. I was aware of it at the time. You did not then, and you do not now, HAVE to go on feeling that way. How you "take" something is entirely your own doing, you see. Try working at not feeling bullied -- you do have the power to do that -- and instead work on DOING what I have suggested, vis., go find Josh or Ray or Harry.

I am entirely open minded to study and gain knowledge from as many sources as I can.

If you were actually open-minded, Billy, you would take me on the up-and-up instead of nursing your feeling of being hurt. And you would also already have been working on doing what I have suggested.

That is why I ended up at your seminar.  I would be more than happy to study with any of your recommended clinicians but sometimes it is not so convenient. 

Ahh well, you see, life is sometimes not very convenient. We all have to decide what's most important. So what you could be doing instead, is saving up your shekels for how to get down to Arizona to see Harry or how to go over to Edmonton to ride with Josh.

The program in question did happen to be convenient when someone recommended it to me.  It was easily accessible, instructors around the corner, homestudy information etc.  I thoroughly enjoy the program and the results are undeniable.  I had an extremely dominant horse who did not want to be with people.  He did not like me, trust me or see me as a leader no matter what I did.  And no, I did not have any horsemanship skills at the time. I only had 15 years of riding lessons and no one spoke to me about "playing with your horse", 'gaining his trust", "reading his body language", "establishing yourself as a leader" or as you say a "teacher".  My horse has changed remarkably.  He now runs to me, follows me around in the pasture, I can play with him in an open field and he WANTS to stay with me. He finally LIKES me and ENJOYS being with me. 

We would be able to see whether any of this is true, Billy, only by being in the presence of both you and your horse. Generally speaking, as I mentioned at the seminar, I don't put much stock in the reports I get from people who have been to the schools of the well self-advertised gurus, and particularly not when the person had little or no experience beforehand. Your horse may seem great to you, and maybe he is better than he used to be. What I am warning you about is not this. It is that you are being mis-taught, and that this will lead to your harming your horse more the longer you work with "surface workers". This is often difficult for people with no experience to wrap their head around, and I must depend upon your obeying in that case, rather than believing me. You don't have to believe me at all, if you will only go and DO what I have told you -- i.e., find the right teachers instead of the wrong ones.

Do I believe this is the ONLY method of horsemanship. Of course not.  I am a well educated person and I know better than to believe that.  I'm sure there are many many horseman out there who can teach me more.  I am willing.  I am not stuck in a "rut" as you say.  I am advancing and seeking more knowledge.  I am interested in MASTERY with horses and I know you cannot achieve mastery by gaining your information from one source. 

This is a misunderstanding also that many people have. Mastery is gained not by flying all over the place, but by finding home. And anyone who is not home MUST find home; it is a law of the universe. It is evident to me that you are not home, Billy, but I am good enough, in the very teeth of your insults and your immaturity, to continue to try to point you the way. Many people have to go anywhere but home before they find home. ....if this is all a bit esoteric-sounding, then let me put it this way: if you want mastery, Billy, start cleaning some stalls.

As for your critic about the finesse you saw.  I also think that finesse is not this program's strong point.  The other areas they teach are.  Again, is it the best program even for overall horsemanship? I don't know.  I only know what I know so far.  Life is a learning experience.  I have lots to learn and so do you.


As for your suggestions that the instructor's program is a 'pyramid". I do not agree. They are making a very good living.  I believe they do pay 'licensing fees' as I pay in the profession I work in, "professional dues" to  my professional college.  It is the same and a very legitimate way to make a living. 


 Dr. Deb, please do not cause another person to be the target of your disdain for other professionals in your field.  You get way more bees with honey than you do with vinegar. Please remember that. - Billy

Billy, I am not trying to trap any bees. Go and do what I have told you, and you will then find out what I AM trying to do.

This will be the last transmission in this thread -- we have now said enough, and you have been given the best instruction and help that I think I can give you for the time being. You can write us back in a year or so, after you've had time to consider what the teachers I recommend have suggested to you, and let us know what the progress and changes with your horse then are.

I would suggest to you, Billy, that you print out this entire thread and save it for future reference. Best wishes -- Dr. Deb

Last edited on Wed Oct 22nd, 2008 02:41 pm by DrDeb

ladycfp
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"Billy" your emotional fitness (or lack thereof) is showing. You may be the only example of the clinician in question's students that some people see in the horse world, and right about now I think, "what a shame." Your conduct is embarrassing.

This forum is a newly discovered resource for many of our fellow students. For that, I thank you. If you want to learn something, you should busy yourself reading what is here instead of trying to stir up trouble.

AdamTill
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Look Billy, you're not getting it...if you only came here to avenge your affronted feelings, you're wasting your time.  Nobody forced you to go to a clinic, or to come here afterwards, and this isn't a sunshine and butterflies board (thank goodness).

Dr Deb says it like she means it - no sugar coating of what she has found to be the truth. Don't agree with that truth - fine, but don't whine about the way it's delivered. I for one appreciate having a place to come to get that sort of honesty, and I can always be sure that nothing gets said without a logical path being available to trace WHY it's being said.

The whole horse world is chock full of "enabler" thinking where it's somehow okay to do wrong by horses, but darn it, don't hurt anyone's feelings. For example, how is it okay to take 15 years (!) of riding lessons without caring that you have no concept of horsemanship? Horses aren't sports equipment. Yes, most lesson barns are setup this way, but YOU accepted that. Bully for you that you think your clinician is a step up from that, but don't get pissy if the rest of us say that it's not much of a step up.

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I find myself here reading these posts not so much to see how others are wrong - but whether it helps me understand better what is actually offered up at this board.  It does.  Especially the picture (though I think it violates the posting rules as I  believe this is not Dave, lol).  

Looking at the rider with the critiques offered really helped me get a visual in my head of how "right" will feel when it comes and more importantly what to let go of.  And it reinforced to me that I will not get it with an expensive high tech bit/bridle.

 

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Hi Jen,

I just joined about 3 minutes ago, so I am going to take a stab at this one. I believe the rider is leaning or going in a different direction then the horse. I believe that this is not balanced riding.  take care, peace, candy

hurleycane
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If anyone is gonna hold themselves up as an example - well then an example they should expect to be! LOL 

But, truthfully, if you had put up who it was - I would not have posted and what I now see as an opportunity to learn - would have been lost.

Cause you see at first glance I surly did not notice much.  And heck who knows - I may be dead wrong about what I think it is I now see.  But it made me look more critically at it for sure.

Just love a pop quiz! 

Thanks! and sorry for the tease. 

Last edited on Wed Oct 22nd, 2008 09:29 am by hurleycane

ladycfp
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I must have a lot to learn. This is way too subtle for me to grasp today.

Tammy 2
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Another thing I noticed (but may be wrong) is that it appears they are travelling on a circle by the position of the rider.  Therefore, the horse is not straight on the circle as his shoulder is leaning in.  A perfect example from the woody article of hurting your horse by allowing him to travel crooked and therefore the brace.  In which case, he should be asked to step under his belly with his inside hind in order to straighten through and push that inside shoulder out.

It does look to me like they are in a canter and this should be accomplished first at walk then trot.

Anyone think that is correct ?

Might as well take an opportunity to learn.  I will never pass that up.

Tammy

 

 

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I see tension. In the rider's shoulders, arms hands, in the reins, in the horse's expression, in the position of his mouth and in his eyes. I see the horse is attentive to the rider, but not in a curious or keen manner ('oh joy, what's next), more like he's anxious (oh brother! what's next). Reins are WAY too short.

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I would agree with what Tammy said - the rider is attempting to ride a bend, but the horse isn't following. Assuming that the rider is attempting to cue the bend with the rein, the white knuckles on the inside rein would imply that the horse is falling over his inside shoulder, and attempting to use his neck to counterbalance a counterbent turn.

I also get the feeling that the horse isn't moving forward very freely...very much a backwards traction look to things.

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Hi Billy, from "someone who cleans the stalls" (though now it's just for my own horses) (as others here have noted, you're showing an attitude that's unbecoming). My horses have been willing, friendly, and generous for years- even if they came to me with real behavior problems. But I'm starting over with things I've learned from Dr. Deb, the Dorrances, and Harry Whitney's website- not as icing on the cake, but rather as an even better foundation. The difference in the horses has been both subtle and startling; more so than I could tell you- you'll just have to silence yourself and try it for yourself.  If by "natural dressage" you mean dressage according to the true nature of things , you're standing on solid rock right here. --Sincerely, Elynne

Last edited on Wed Oct 22nd, 2008 04:29 am by Tutora

DrDeb
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Folks, I have had to be out teaching all day today, from the early morning onward, and thus had not had a chance to see any new posts since last night.

I appreciate what some of you have been trying to do here, but: pictorial comparisons of any rider whatsoever, including myself, are not what will be most helpful in educating "Billy".

None of you seem to have heard what I said. The primary objections to the teaching of clinicians not listed on our recommended list are:

1. They do not understand the meaning that their approach to the horse has TO THE HORSE. They are "surface workers" who continually (and largely unknowingly) call upon their horses to fill in for them. You can assess this in some photos; but not very well in the example that Dave originally posted. You need a photo where you can see "into" the horse's eye. The Birdie Book is full of such photos, and I would greatly prefer that everyone go and look at that. Another very good place to see the approach of someone who very well knows what his approach means, and cares what it means to the horse, is to look in back issues of The Eclectic Horseman magazine, and read any article at all featuring Buck Brannaman.

2. The student is "fodder" to fill the emotional needs of the clinician. This is one reason why I enjoy Ray Hunt so much: he will kick your butt just as soon as you try to bullshit either him or yourself, because he is not afraid of losing anyone as a client. The almighty buck does not rule Ray when Ray is in class. Emotionally, Ray does not NEED anyone else, although I am certain that he does appreciate good students who "work for the perfection". So, as a result of this, there is no attempt with Ray to have a fan club, found a movement, run an organization, or to engender a following. Ray has often said, "The first thing you people need to understand is that this is for the horses, not for you. Whether anyone had showed up to see me work these colts today, I would have been out here working these colts."

3. Another objection is that the business is run as a licensing franchise or as a pyramid scheme. Ray has been charging just about the same amount per student per day since the 1970's, and interestingly, his charges are about one-third to one-fifth of that of the well self-advertised gurus. Further, there is no trailer full of halters, sticks, and other gimmicks that are so very profitable, and so very easy to sell to beginners. Somebody asked me at last weekend's seminar whether I had brought any copies of my books. I snorted and said, "of course not." There is no need to encourage consumerism, and in any case everyone at the seminar was told where to find this website and that we have a bookstore section. Let them buy that way; it may slow 'em down a little. What I DID do in the way of having goods there was donate about $600 worth of stuff to the school that sponsored the seminar.

4. Last objection: Overt attempts are made by the well self-advertised clinicians and their licensees to indoctrinate students. Among these attempts are out-and-out lies told to the students concerning the chief guru's personal knowledge of, or period of study with, Ray Hunt or the Dorrance brothers. It needs to be emphasized that Ray and the Dorrances have never enfranchised or advocated anybody. During my private conversation with Billy, the reason I said to her that Clinician XXXX is an asshole, is that Billy was insisting to me that SHE had heard that her favorite guru has been a favorite of the great men. This is untrue to the point of being laughable. Billy did not want to believe me when I told her that she is being systematically lied to -- but it's easy to lie to students when they have no means of knowing any different.

It would be MUCH better if Billy would just go find Ray, Harry, Tom Curtin, Josh, Bryan, or Buck; then she could begin all over again, and not need to join any "school" or organization whatsoever. She would be entirely free, and would be encouraged to grow entirely on her own -- which is the only way that anyone has ever actually learned to train a horse.

Now, folks, if you please: I think this is enough on this thread, and let's get back to other things that are not only more fun, but more important. We have work to do. -- Dr. Deb

 

 

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Many of us find inner peace working with horses. We go to clinics and seminars to learn more about these beloved creatures and to take the blinders off. It is our responsibility to learn all we can, to use our own intelligence and horse sense to listen, and try to hear, what our horses are telling us. God knows, no one has all the answers.

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Wow Maushouse...thank you for leaving us with that beautiful thought and so very true.

 

 

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I too have had the mispleasure of attending a clinic with DD.

I know what you mean here Billy, the worst mistake I made was to mention I enjoy lessons with Clinician XXXX.

The attacks I suffered on this forum make this discussion look pleasant in comparison. It makes very interesting reading still.

There are so many things DD did in her clinic that were so excellent, BUT I ask her now.

Would you treat horse in the same way you are treating these people who feel you are rude etc.

I feel, if teaching has to be tough, as you are tough on the people who dare to question your thoughts and porcesses, as a horse may dare to as well.

What do you do to horse to change its ways? 

How do you treat a "mad bad mean horse" to  help it work with you and return its Birdie?

I really need to know this now- after a few years of reading this site.

The answer to me is with RESPECT, its a 2 way process, give and take.

On the other ideas of clinicians who sell their products, here I see, but the birdie book, and you will discover the answers for yourself.

But the weeds book, buy and read this or that?

Is there really a differecnce between clinician XXX and this  elite forum?

Perhaps the answer lies in the fact bad horses, like bad people have pyschotic issues, and they all need to see a good counsellor, to lie on the couch and discuss their issues.

A good teacher you are NOT, DD, but a very clever  and brilliant person you are.

 

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I was also at the clinic being discussed and found Dr. Deb to be a wonderful speaker and able to pass on some fantastic insights into the horse that made me really stop to think.  I never found her rude, blunt at times but not rude.   Maybe I just have thicker skin, I don't know.

I guess some people are never happy.  Maybe I didn't agree with every remark but that doesn't mean it wasn't a great clinic and that Dr. Deb isn't a great speaker.  I found the time flew when she was talking as she had the ability to grab the audience.  I would go back to hear her again should I ever have the opportunity.

As for the very limited swearing..............just grow up for goodness sakes.  She was not taking the Lord's name in vain and nor was she insulting to a race, religion, sex.......jesh.  I'm sure worse words are said in the Elementary School playground at recess.

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Dear B.R.: Is there something I can actually help you with? Do you have a question regarding horsemanship? That is the purpose for this Forum.

If you don't have an actual question, I'll be removing your posts. You understand that our server space is limited, and we'd like to use it for inquiries that are worthwhile.

Thanks for the courtesy. And other folks, by the way: please, that's enough of who liked Dr. Deb and who didn't. There is no purpose at all in a thread devoted to that, and I myself am utterly uninterested in peoples' opinions about me, whether the opinions are positive or negative. People are very kind when they say positive things.

Let's get back to discussions of horsemanship principles, difficulties and insights in training, and good stories from "the trail less traveled". -- Dr. Deb

 

Last edited on Thu Oct 23rd, 2008 06:04 am by DrDeb

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DrDeb wrote: Let's get back to discussions of horsemanship principles, difficulties and insights in training, and good stories from "the trail less traveled". -- Dr. Deb

 

Amen :-)

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Dr Deb,

       I was also at  your lectures this past weekend.  Thank you  for sharing your gift with me. You are remarkable.

Thank you

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Hi Dr. Deb,

 

I have never heard about you until this discussion started, and this is not a direct 'horsemanship' concern, but more one of 'personality building', which will ultimately influence our horsemanship skills. However, not to worry, my post is not going to attack anybody, I'm merely trying to understand. I'm even using the same username (Waldo) that I use on XXX's Forum, 'cause I don't have anything to hide or to be ashamed of.

 

I read this whole thread, and I also read your website. I agree, your information and knowledge are remarkable, and I agree, some of the posts on here were pretty hefty.

 

What I don't understand is where this mutual hostility is coming from. We are all on the same side of the fence, you, clinician XXX, clinician XXX and clinician XXX, and even yours and their students. We are all in it because we truly love horses.

 

I know plenty other horse people who call themselves horselovers but deserve this kind of hostility. There are people who drag their horses behind pickup trucks to teach them how to lead, or who blindfold their horses and let them run into a wall to teach them to whoa, or who hit a 2-liter bottle of warm fluid over mounts heads to make them behave. And then there are people who do just about anything to win a competitions. Those aren't horselovers, those are disgustingly sick people who deserve many of the words that have been exchanged in this thread.

 

I'm really a little bit confused. Just because a clinician is well known and makes money doesn't make him bad. I promise you, if we wouldn't see the results in our horses, we wouldn't study under certain clinicians.

 

Does anybody that reads this have any idea, just how much good is happening thanks to people like you (Dr. Deb) or any of the clinicians you despise? The world of horsemanship is changing thanks to all of you. I really don't care about who makes the most money or who is the most famous, all I care about is that people start using some heart when they handle horses - or any other animals. I also want them to start using some common sense when they are breeding more and more horses that end up unwanted. Things are changing, Dr. Deb, and I'm greatful for every single one out there that make it happen. Therefore, I'm also very greatful to you.

 

And please, don't forget that we shouldn't kill a good. The world is bad enough as it is, even without friendly fire.

 

Thanks for your time,

Waldo

DrDeb
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Waldo, I understand your question. You say you've read the entirety of this thread, but nevertheless you have missed some things.

Nothing about this is personal. There is no hostility at all. I am simply telling people -- and indeed I am obligated to tell people -- that there are individuals out there who offer "horsemanship" clinics and who pretend to teach, who mis-teach and who therefore will wind up hurting the peoples' horses.

Waldo, I also think that like many people you have been led on by media reports to assume that there is some kind of movement going on here. There is NO movement, no single team or camp; and therefore, there is no 'friendly fire'. The people who call their thing 'natural horsemanship' are doing things that I do not want to see my students, or anyone else, do.

There is no such thing as 'natural' horsemanship, neither can there in any manner ever be such a thing. The word 'natural' is a smokescreen.

What we teach here, as Hurleycane has mentioned, is just plain horsemanship. There is nothing else. Horsemanship involves deep work, deep perception of what we mean to horses. This also is not taught within the so-called 'natural horsemanship' schools -- in fact, entirely missed. This is their most serious deficit.

So, again, there is no 'friendly fire'. There is in fact no fire at all. You can take my advice regarding these things, or you can leave it; and if you leave it, I wish you well in whatever journey you make with your livestock.

If you want to remain here, you will be taught CONSCIOUS horsemanship, so that you begin to know without doubt that every single thing that happens to your horse, happens to him because you have decided that it is going to. This eliminates for me the possibility that my horsemanship could be superior to anyone else's. It is simply what it is: the one-on-one, direct reality of my relationship with each animal that I own. We may do quite a few different things, and some of those things might look fine to an outside observer; but that would not have been the goal, rather, a side effect.

I quite like the term 'conscious' to replace 'natural', as conveying with clarity and honesty what we are doing. When you yourself have clarity and honesty, Waldo, then you can begin to convey clarity to your horses, and start getting honest responses back from them. -- Dr. Deb

 

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Dr Deb, another student of clinician XXX here - not that that should be important or relevent but that I just want to be up front with my first post - I have horsemanship questions. 

Before I ask the questions, I wish to state that I'm not interested in defending or promoting an agenda or position, I just want to learn. I ask for the benefit of my horse. I ask these questions, particularly the 2nd one, after seeing phrases like "surface teaching" and "deeper method".

Q1,

Dr Deb, please give me a specific example or two of a method/technique/approach typical of clinician XXX's teaching that could be doing my horse harm and how/why it is harmful?

Q2,

Assuming it is not possible to give a concrete answer to the first question and that the method/technique is not important, but rather the underlying philosopy is the problem - please elaborate on this?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For the record, right or wrong, I understood the meaning of the "natural" in clinician XXX's use of the term to refer to communication that was based on how horses communicate with eachother rather than trying to imply anything more than that. Clinician XXX has stated that in his use of that term, his wish is that the term would one day be made redundant.

Last edited on Fri Oct 24th, 2008 08:29 pm by Blue Flame

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Blueflame, if you want to benefit your horse, I would suggest to read a lot on this forum. Then you might consider this:

DrDeb wrote:
1. They do not understand the meaning that their approach to the horse has TO THE HORSE. They are "surface workers" who continually (and largely unknowingly) call upon their horses to fill in for them. You can assess this in some photos; but not very well in the example that Dave originally posted. You need a photo where you can see "into" the horse's eye. The Birdie Book is full of such photos, and I would greatly prefer that everyone go and look at that.

already enough of an answer to your question.

For learning you do not need to find the flaws in other people. By reading through the topics here and the articles in the knowledge base on the other hand, you will learn a lot. After that you most likely have some more interesting questions.

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I have actually read the Birdie book, courtesy of a friend.

I have read both books mentioned and Woody, and as I said attended a clinic too.

I see all the photos, but I still do not really get what you mean by a horse "filling for a human"

If teachings do not make sense to the learner, surely the teacher can find another way to try and explain what the learner does not understand, as thats what the original problems stem from, lack of understanding.

Sending me off to read the book again and again, I still just do not get it.

In your birdie book, I see horses that look stressed, I see pain, I saw some ideas on how to stay focussed, but not much makes sense about how a horse fills in for a person?

 B.R., this is Dr. Deb. I know what you don't see, but this is for very good reason. You and I both know that you have been under psychiatric treatment previously, and that the public school system where you once worked will no longer hire you, because you are a recognized danger to children and co-workers.

I have told you before, when you were using a different moniker, that I cannot work with you until you place yourself under effective psychiatric care and/or medication. Your inability to understand the Birdie Book is related to the mental illness from which you suffer. It isn't that I have no sympathy for your condition, but that your condition makes cogent discussion impossible. Worse, it misleads others here into thinking that what you have to say is on the same level as the reactions or opinions of a healthy person.

Please stop posting in this Forum, and go obtain the treatment that you need. -- Dr. Deb

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 09:54 am by DrDeb

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I am very new here, this week. I have concentrated my studies with "Clinician X" for 2 1/2 years. I recently audited a Harry Whitney clinic. I was so moved by that experience I am signed up to ride in a clinic of his in June. I have ordered and not received yet the podcasts and the Birdie Book. I do not know fully what is offered here, but it appeals to me so far. I have been missing something that I hope I will find.

Far as I can tell today, my studies with X have concentrated on moving the horse's body to get to his mind. Here, it seems the emphasis is on moving his mind to get to his body.

I am sure someone will tell me if I am wrong. Even if I am, I am looking forward to learning more.

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Thanks, Dr. Deb, for your reply. Unfortunately, I still feel hostility in many of the posts on this thread - coming from both sides of the fence. However, you said that none of it is personal, and so I can only take your word for it.

 

However, I promise you that I have not been taken in by media reports. If anything, media circus is something that turns me off. All I have ever been interested in is the welfare of animals. I have 4 and a quarter (he's our little Mini) horses, with all of them being rescued animals with different, horrible backgrounds. I got into this without experience, but with a lot of love and concern. Some of the issues those horses had were very hard for me to understand, and I have gotten myself into dangerous situations several times. Thanks to xxx's teachings, I have developed into a confident horse partner, and our horses have become trusting and calm. I am anything but a horseback rider, for me riding is not nearly as important as my relationship with our animals. Anyway, what I have learned from xxx has nothing to do with techniques or tools, it has to do with understanding and observing a situation and with becoming the human leader our horses need and deserve.

 

No, media circus is nothing but media circus.  And it is not the media that lets me believe that a 'movement' is going on. I see more and more people who are interested in becoming 'worthy' humans. I still see too much cruelty going on, but people ARE starting to change - generation by generation. I don't know, if it's a movement or not, but it sure is wonderful to see kids that are being taught a better way, a more respectful way. And whether you realize it or not, whether you like it or not, whether you intended for it to be that way or not, you ARE part of those teachings.

 

Thanks again for your time, and good luck to you all.

 

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Hi Waldo

I don't think Dr. Deb would want you to refer to yourself as "leader" but "teacher".  She seems to be really hung up on semantics...but that's okay. I'm trying to see her angle on things.  

I also believe that XXX's teachings have helped me a great deal.  I'm not so sure Dr. Deb is really up on what XXX is teaching.  I'd like to know how much of his material she actually owns and has studied.  I have been to many of the people on the "friends of ESI" site.  I read all of Harry Whitney's articles and I already knew what he was going to say.  This has all been taught to me.

This evening, I had a dressage instructor, well known in our area and Grand Prix level, come and teach me.  I first showed her our ground skills on line, then I played with my horse at Liberty in and outside of the round pen(in an open pasture).  She was blown away by what I could do.  She knows nothing of XXX's teachings.  She could not believe the relationship between myself and my horse.  She couldn't believe he was staying with me and being so obedient with such as soft look on his face, ears perked forward the whole time.  He would look at me, asking questions as if to say "what should I do now", "do you like this?" etc. 

We had an amazing lesson and she could not stop smiling and said "she is so looking forward to teaching us", "this horse is so well prepared".  It took nothing to get him in that "let loose" frame of relaxation and seeking the contact.  He is extremely responsive, he will halt or backup with just a change in posture.  He will add energy at the slightly indication of my energy etc.  The point is that what we have been taught is very good information. Don't doubt it because Dr. Deb does.  I think she is missing something in her overall knowledge of what XXX is teaching OR she has a personal vendetta  against him.  Does she know what XXX's wife is teaching?  I think she has also brought soooooo much to the table.

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Actually the difference between teacher and leader is more than just semantics.

Last edited on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 01:16 am by Leah

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Hi Billy,

 

I give Dr. Deb more credit than getting hung up on word games. I am NOT my horses' teacher, but I'm trying to be a worthy companion and leader. Horses are herd animals, and they react to leadership. I don't think there is a single human that can teach a horse how to be a horse. After all, horses know way more about horses than we will ever be, and if anybody is teaching anything, it is the horse teaching the human. Horses know how to lope, they know how to jump, they know how to trot, they know how to best utilize their natural instincts, how to go into flight mode, etc. No, the only thing we have to prove to the horse is that we are worthy of their trust, of their time and of their connection with us. And I called it 'prove', not 'teach'.

Waldo, this is Dr. Deb. This paragraph pretty much tells me where you would be at if you showed up in my class. You are mixed up. Being your horse's teacher is your proper role, because educating your horse is the goal. One of the reasons I continually recommend J. Allen Boone's book is that he so effectively gets across the idea of "making the bridge level." Anyone who figures they need to be the 'leader' is still putting himself above the animal mentally, and (just as with the word 'natural') using the title 'leader' to kid himself that he's really his horse's partner. You are either equal partners, or you are the senior partner -- the leader -- and hence the balance is unequal.

I would totally dispense with all of that. You need to be the teacher, because your horse does not come into the situation knowing how to use the furniture. All domestic horses are still born wild. Their instincts continually get them into trouble within the domestic environment. So you be the teacher, and then there's no folderol about whether you are partners, or whether you are equal. You are most emphatically not equal! There is a teacher and there is the one who needs to be taught. Sometimes the teacher is you. Sometimes the teacher is the horse.

Only the educated horse can be 100% OK on the inside. The best a "leader" can produce is an obedient trooper -- a follower that will PERFORM, no matter how he feels. In the Army, follower behavior is created by squelching any tendency to think independently. The trooper is to PERFORM no matter how he really feels or thinks. This is the root-cause of "post-traumatic stress disorder" -- the trooper never did really or deeply accept that he would need to be killing other human beings.

My major goal with every horse is to get him all right on the inside. This can only by done through a process of education. To be educated means that the horse understands, and emotionally accepts, whatever I am going to ask him to be or do, whatever situation I am going to ask him to be in. Once the horse becomes 100% OK on the inside, you can shoot a cannon off under his belly and he'll stand there smacking his lips with his ears in a V. This has nothing to do with 'desensitizing' (to desensitize means to 'make numb' -- another route to having the horse PERFORM ANYWAY). True 100% OK-ness is absolutely something unworldly, by which I mean, it is something that reminds me of Another -- and better -- world. It is akin to what Ernest Hemingway meant when he said of the bullfight -- the dance of death between bull and man -- that it was 'uncanny' or 'otherworldly'.

And don't kid yourself, Waldo: it is most certainly a dance of death. There is no difference at all between roundpenning a horse, when it is done aright, and torrying a bull. The understanding that develops between the animal and the handler is the same, and while the bull dies in literal fact, the horse dies too -- in the sense that he dies to his old life, submitting his whole will to the man's. The idea for us is to be worthy of this, not to mis-use it. Our elderly teacher often emphasized this point. -- Dr. Deb

 

Billy, I am proud of you for your accomplishments, and I'm proud of you for doing what you think is right. However, having said that, I would like to divert the rest of our conversation to xxx's forum. This is Dr. Deb's Forum, and I will respect that. I have no intentions, whatsoever, to disrespect what the people here are trying to accomplish and build on. I only replied to the 'teaching' vs. 'leadership' comment, because it is very much a horsemanship issue. So, if you don't mind, I will 'see' you on the other forum, for I really don't have an animosity issue with Dr. Deb. I never took her criticism personal, I've only started posting here because I am a curious person that always tries to understand.

 

Thanks


Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 07:48 pm by DrDeb

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So I went and re-read the Woody article and near the end it says:

I suggest you review "The Birdie Book" or at least the summary of Birdie Theory posted in the Knowledge Base section of this Website.

I couldn't find the summary referred to - could someone point me to it if it is still available?

I'm also interested in what "the horse filling in for the person" means as asked by Billys Right. I could speculate but would rather consider Dr. Deb's definition.

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The concept of a horse filling in for a human, in my mind, is where the horse is expected to do things that the human cannot themselves do.

For example, if you were to expect your horse to be quiet and confident on a trail ride, when you yourself are actually the one seeing goblins around every corner, that would be filling in.

Or if a person is mentally distracted and worrying about what to cook for diner while riding, then gets mad when their horse spooks or wants to go back to the pasture, that's filling in (why should they be there when the rider isn't).

Or, if the person is full of braces and twists (and the Icelandics I rode today reminded me of where mine are!) and yet the person is frustrated at why they won't take a bend or a lead, that would be expecting the horse to fill in. Likewise, if the horse is full of twists, and the rider isn't aware of them and how to fix them, that would be the same situation.

Not if this is how the term is intended, but it's how I read it.

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Blue Flame...the summary for the Birdie Book is found under the ESI Bookstore link...once in the bookstore, scroll down just a wee bit and you will see it.

One thing to be aware of-with ANY of Dr Deb's writings (or at least the ones I own), be prepared to read, read again, re-read and when you are finished do it several more times.

Each word counts. Each sentence counts. These are not materials that can be mastered in one weekend reading.

I lost count of how many times I have read Woody and True Collection and I still have many readings to go!

Also be aware that this forum does not operate like many...it is considered Dr Deb's classroom. She answers questions when she is available and it may take some time.

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Thanks Adam, I can see some sense in what might be meant by "filling in" now, and look forward to DD's explanation also.

 

Waldo
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Blue Flame had nothing to do with my reply to you. I think you got us just a little confused. I'm just a guest poster on here, but so are you. Dr. Deb does not have to accept either one of us on here, and at the moment I'm hoping that she will delete this whole 'strange' thread.

Billy
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yes Waldo...the post was meant for you not Blue Flame. I did get my user names confused.

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Billy wrote:
so to answer Leah, actually it is just semantics. If you were smart enough, you'd realize you need to be a leader before you can teach the horse.

 


When someone says 'it's just semantics,' the implication is the person accused is just playing word games...not something I find common to Dr Deb's personality.

Billy
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no it means that someone is placing too much emphasis on the philosophical meaning of words

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Well then I guess it can have two meanings.

hurleycane
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Waldo - How did you hear of this forum?

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hurleycane-there is a post on the private forum of the clinician not being named...

Someone was complaining about Dr Deb's recent clinic and the thread took off, bringing many over here.

It is unclear if the OP on that forum is the same as Billy or not.

Also, there have been others on that forum that refer to Dr Deb's writings and some come to learn what it is all about here...

sadly though I think this traffic is due to the trainwreck over there that has now jumped its tracks to here.

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Hurleycane: We had a thread about Dr. Deb's seminar on our Forum. Made me curious. I am not one to judge by what others say, so I decided to check out the website myself. I don't like emotional attacks (they cause way too much damage and chaos throughout the whole world), but instead try to understand what causes them. That's why I started posting on this thread: Out of a simple need and desire to understand.

 

Sure didn't mean any harm.

 

Leah
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Blue Flame, while you are getting your feet wet over here, you can always do what I did at first...

there are not TOO many pages on this forum...you can go to the beginning and literally read all the threads (take your time :-D)

I have passed over threads before thinking the question did not apply to me, later got curious and read it, only to find I learned something!

There is information stored away in many posts in many threads!

Blue Flame
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Will do Leah. I have been here in the past - a few years ago. Will take another look now that I'm a few years more experienced.

hurleycane
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Waldo ~ Well, kinda an odd way to find a good resource - but a good resource you have found none the less! But, this really is not a chat board - which is one of the things that really sets it apart.  When you take the time to read here - I think you will find you gain insight not only into the horse - but as well into yourself.   Just read - you will see.

It sounds to me like your other forum is making Billy feel pretty good about Billy.  I can only guess how all the notoriety has bolstered what must be a pretty sagging ego.  Though I doubt Billy will apologise here - I am hopeful Billy will soon find some way to get what satisfaction is sought back there at the home forum.

Later.

Last edited on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 04:41 am by hurleycane

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It's interesting that someone else has posted the latest posts as "Billy" who was not the original Billy.  I think the moderator should delete this thread now as it is becoming crazy.

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Good evening everybody -- this has been a fairly busy thread today. I replied to Waldo at 8:00 this morning and then had to step out all day to teach, plus then go to dinner with the group, and have just returned to my motel room at 9 p.m. tonight. And in just this short period of time there have been so many posts and questions that I have to take notes so I don't forget any before replying. I am pleased to say that the tone of this thread has now come much more to where I want it to be, and the direction of the discussion is such that it is very worthwhile whatever "traffic" it may be bearing.

Blue Flame begins the questioning above by asking, politely and with respect, whether I can give a concrete example of something that 'clinician X' (actually ALL of the 'clinician Xes') teach that I object to. Then she asks, if I can't give a concrete example, then does this all just boil down to differences in "philosophy".

In fact, it is easy to give a concrete example; but of course, since all rational peoples' actions are based on their philosophy (or you can say their perceptions), then whatever actions they make are living proof of their ability to perceive, or the lack of it.

So here is a concrete example. Very important to us is that the horse learn to step under the body-shadow with the inside hind leg. The proper name for this maneuver is 'untracking' or 'to untrack'.

Now if a horse untracks, but is prevented from stepping much forward at the same time, he will take a bigger step with his hindquarters than he will with his forequarters. As the untracking gesture or step is an oblique one, carrying the hoof from somewhat behind him in an oblique direction under the belly so that it lands in front of, or nearly in front of, the opposite hind leg, when he takes the untracking step it will tend to carry the hindquarters away or make them circle around the forequarter. In the old literature of the Classical High School, this action is called 'going larger behind' or 'enlarging the hindquarter'. What it means is that the arc of the footprints made by the hind feet in the dirt is larger than the arc of the footprints made by the front feet.

Most people who come to horseback riding clinics are not experts, nor either are they familiar with the history of old European classicism. Instead, they are beginners, and oftentimes not very confident or at ease around horses. For both these reasons, when they are taught how to cause the horse to make this maneuver they become both beguiled and jubilant. Jubilant, because one of the "deep" effects of this maneuver is to cause tense or aggressive horses to soften considerably. The effect that this has, in turn, is to greatly increase the confidence the student feels -- she very soon starts to realize that, by golly, she CAN control her horse -- she can succeed.

This is an excellent side effect that we also value -- nothing wrong with some jubilaton, certainly. The problem comes in with the beguilement, which is, that the student, having gained some confidence, is permitted (and I would also say, actually encouraged) to GO ON asking the horse to take untracking steps, until it actually turns through a 360 degree circuit. And then it will be asked to do this several other times, or many other times, through the course of a morning's lesson, a matter of two hours or more.

There is nothing at all wrong with turning a horse through a 360. And there is also nothing wrong, on paper, with asking the animal to repeat the maneuver several times, or many times. What is wrong is the failure of the student (who is not to blame) and the teacher (who ought to know better, but doesn't), to consider what the approach of the student-handler means to the horse. In other words: for each individual horse, how much pressure does that horse perceive is being put on him?

When this is not mentioned -- in fact when it is not the greatest single point that is being taught -- what happens is that the student will put more pressure on the horse than the horse needs to have. This is especially likely in a group lesson when all students are being asked to do the same thing. The result of this overpressuring, through repeated bouts, is to create an increase in tension in the horse. The horse begins to dread the sessions, and when he gets to that point, he will begin to take steps to protect himself from the actions or even the approach of the handler.

The situation is made worse by the beguilement which comes when the student believes that they have 'taught the horse a new maneuver', which maneuver is to turn the horse's hindquarters around its forequarters 360 degrees, or 180 degrees, or whatever number of degrees. The student's perception is that their GOAL is to make the horse turn around. The interaction between the horse and the handler then becomes "an exercise" or "a game". The game has a name; it is something that the student believes she is to "do" with her horse.

What is missed here is the all-important point that there is nothing whatsoever to "do" with any horse, at any time. When the handler focuses instead upon what her actions and approach mean to the horse, and makes that her primary consideration, then what she will be seeking is not a PERFORMANCE but a RESPONSE. I mean: just the response, or even just the willingness on the horse's part to respond. And the handler will start living by this maxim, which is: you commit to doing ALL THAT IT TAKES but NO MORE THAN IT TAKES.

Well, obviously, to do that you have to figure out -- individually and uniquely between yourself and your horse -- how much it takes, and exactly WHAT it might take, to get the horse first to perceive what is being asked, and then to re-shape or move its body. And what I as the teacher of the class emphasize is to find the absolute minimum amount of pressure that is sufficient to get the horse to take ONE SINGLE step that is of the right kind and in the right direction.

The goal in my class is, then, to teach the students how they can obtain ONE SINGLE STEP AT A TIME. The horse is to take one single step, and then settle.

When I have students who have formerly been with "clinician X" (whichever 'clinician X' it was), then what I find is that their horses have no idea how to do this, but instead what they do is they flee from the handler. This is the horse's way of protecting itself from the handler.

The handler usually has difficulty perceiving this at first, and they are quite surprised, even shocked, that I am not praising them as their instructor at the other clinic praised them. The horse flees from them not by bolting straight out, but in a more subtle way, so that when the student walks around to the side there and gets into the position she usually stands in, in order to ask the horse to turn around, the horse steps his hindquarters away from the handler so that he is always ahead of the actions of the handler. The horse is not waiting for suggestions or direction; instead he takes matters into his own hoofs, so to speak, and keeps himself always far enough away from the handler so as to reduce his chances of being struck, or even touched, by either the student's hand, or a stick or flag, or the spinning rope.

But when we have a horse that keeps himself always ahead of the actions of the handler, that is a description of a horse that is out of control. What the student does not understand is that a horse can be out of control at a walk; and also, that she herself has trained the horse to do this, and set it up so that he NEEDS to do it.

What should happen instead, and I mean every single time, is that the handler should be able to step up to the side of the horse and work her way back toward the hindquarters, petting him the while; and then when she arrives at a position where asking him to step under the body-shadow would be convenient, she can either ask for the single step -- or not -- and the horse will stand contentedly until he is asked to move, whensoever that might be. So the handler might step back toward the hindquarters and do nothing more than pet the horse on the tailhead, or handle a hind leg, or give him a scratch on his favorite spot on the inside of the gaskin; or she might ask him to take that single untracking step. But at NO time will she ever ask him to perform.

Now pretty soon, the student in my class will get to the point where she can ask for one single step, followed by a second single step. And when she does this, since this has been emphasized as the most important thing from the beginning, she will know that RELEASE must be allowed, and given, at the end of the first step. This is when we say that the horse has 'settled' or 'been allowed to settle' after he takes the first step. So she gets to the place where the actual, detailed responses of the horse are: step -- settle -- step -- settle.

When the steps are accomplished this way, there is no increase in tension within the horse, and he is happy to take one step and settle, then a second step and then settle; and he will expect that while he's settled, the handler may step up to any part of his body and this will be a pleasure for him, so that he feels no need to defend himself and no need to flee, and therefore he does not flee physically, nor either in the more important and more subtle sense of fleeing mentally (to flee mentally is when he dreads the interaction).

Obviously, after two steps are accomplished this way, then pretty soon it can be multiple steps. And the length of time that the horse needs to 'settle' will decrease, until it is so brief that it is not perceivable by an outside observer. This is one of the things that actually prompts these questions; the questioners have missed this part. Nevertheless, the horse knows it's there, and the handler that I have instructed also knows. For it is in the periods of release that all the communication that is going to happen between the handler and the horse does happen. Communication does not happen while the horse is making effort, but only when he has the freedom of release.

Ultimately, of course, the horse will turn on the forehand or make a 360 -- or multiple 360's -- but these completed figures, that is figures that have names, will be SIDE EFFECTS of making one single step followed by the next and the next. And the naive, inexperienced observer who sees this horse, will usually not be able to express with any clarity the difference between the sum-total of his steps, and the  tense, short-stepping, hurried, and sketchy ersatz produced by the horse taught by 'clinician X'. But goodhearted people always do know, even if they can't express it in specifics, that there IS a difference, for their inner eye can see it. But the bad-hearted person will deny that there is any important difference.

This is as clearly as I can answer your question, Blue Flame. You see that the difference most definitely IS one of philosophy or belief; and it is one of deeper perception, or the lack of it. Only the person who HAS the perception of these apparently small details -- which mean so much to THE HORSE -- will be able to tell the difference.

Another question asked in this thread was what does it mean when I talk about the horse having to 'fill in for' the rider. The horse is being called upon to fill in for the rider anytime the rider does not perceive what her approach and/or her actions mean to the horse. The best story I have on this I tell in the Birdie Book -- it's the story about the time I asked our elderly teacher how I could get my Painty to focus, calm, and straightness -- how I could cause himself to move in perfect collection -- and in a state of inner peace -- without having a cowboy out in front of us pulling a drag. And the answer I got back from him made me mad (at the time). He said: 'Debbie, when Painty Horse has to fill in for you a little bit less, it'll happen all by itself.' It made me mad, because I thought: you old booger. What are you telling me? That I'm not already doing everything for this horse?

So I left that encounter but the words of my teacher did not leave me. They echoed in my head every day after that for a very long time. And they became a challenge to me to THINK ABOUT IT: so maybe I wasn't doing just everything, and maybe that would be because I wasn't perceiving all that Painty was trying to tell me.

So I went to working at that, and after a time, I found quite a few areas. I had a bad habit, for example, of being brave. I figured if I didn't give a damn about umbrellas or bicycles or blowing pieces of paper, that my horse sure shouldn't. But my bravery or unconcern about these things did not help Painty: my bravery did not and could not relieve him of HIS concerns about them. His point of view was at least as valid as mine. This taught me to do what Harry Whitney talks about, that is, look more at the world from my horse's point of view; to take on his point of view. And this in turn made it so I less often rode my horse right up into trouble. When I stopped riding him up into trouble, then that is the same as ceasing to ask, or even demand, that he fill in for me -- that he PERFORM ANYWAY.

The last thing that somebody mentioned was is there any difference, other than just semantic, between calling yourself a 'leader' and calling yourself a 'teacher'. Leah said she figures it's more than just semantics, and she is right. It is much more. We cannot be too careful as to our choice of words, because words are what convey meaning. Especially when coaching, avoiding commonplaces such as 'you need to ride your horse more forward', 'you need to put your horse in a frame', or 'you need to act more like a leader' are to be avoided.

There is nothing wrong with being a 'leader', so long as you are very careful about the connotations of that word. I think very often it is used as a synonym for 'boss'. If that's the way it reads to a given student, then that student will very likely be just as thoughtlessly demanding of her horse as she would have been if she had called herself 'master'. Language is used in the schools of 'clinician X' to give students the impression that the way being taught there is something new, something better, or something more natural; in other words, by implication, superior.

I ask students to consider the idea that they are not 'leaders' or 'masters', but rather 'teachers'. They are overtly, consciously, and continually responsible for conveying CLARITY to their horses. This is the specific role of a teacher. My students are to learn to present themselves to their horses in a way that THE HORSE can understand. I do not encourage students to give themselves titles -- such as 'leader'. Instead, I want them to forget all about "who" they are -- none of us are of any particular importance, and we are all equal -- and instead get down to the nuts and bolts of showing the horse how to tilt his weight off of his left front leg, how to take one single untracking step and then release, how to cause the horse to turn left 'by the birdie.'

This is what relieves me of the necessity of making thousands-of-tiny-violin speeches about how I hope students will grow past me so that someday they won't need any phony and shallow methodology! I will not have mis-taught them, so there will be nothing they need to grow past; in my school, no one is being offered a crutch, but rather, all students are shown the way to deep perception, and asked to work from that as a basis, from the beginning.

I am well aware that this is a steep and demanding path. Neither is it the way that many people want or expect -- what they want is 'you do this first, then you do this next.' After years of being spoon-fed in the public school system, and systematically taught to conform and not think independently, it is not surprising. And anyone who has spent money, and become emotionally invested, in the fan club around whichever 'clinician X', and who then hears from me that she needs to start over completely fresh, is likely to be defensive.

But again, I am offering something beautiful even if the student has a hard time seeing it, and I would go on offering it (because I know it's beautiful) even when the student fights hard against it. C.S. Lewis says something just excellent about this, and it's a favorite thought that I often share with students. Lewis says, you will never be asked to give up anything that you really need, or anything that was of real value. But when you SUBMIT -- when you start actually trusting the teacher -- then all the crud, all the stuff you do not need -- will fall off of you as leaves fall off of trees in the autumn. If the tree never loses those leaves, if it desperately or stubbornly or angrily clings to them -- then it will become a diseased tree that is choking itself, and finally it will perish. But healthy trees shed all the stuff they don't need, they strip themselves down to the bare bones, and they start over completely fresh. Each time they do that, they make themselves able to grow. -- Dr. Deb

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Hi Dr Deb

I have been too busy recently to look on the forum and was shocked (and slightly amused in places) to read parts of this thread.

What a brilliant post your last one was though, so thank you for those concise insights.

I actually took notes from it to help my memory to keep hold of those thoughts.

 

Very valuable.

 

Jacquie

 

 

kindredspirit
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Billy wrote:   I have been to many of the people on the "friends of ESI" site.  I read all of Harry Whitney's articles and I already knew what he was going to say.  This has all been taught to me.



Just curious Billy.  Have you seen Harry or just read the articles that someone else wrote?  I think seeing Harry and reading the articles are two different things.

Sincerely, Kathy 

Kathy, I'll add my smile to this. Thanks for noticing the quote above and pulling it out. The reason, of course, that Billy gets nothing out of what Harry has to say is that she "already knew what he was going to say." This is exactly what I mean about the tree clinging to its own leaves until it chokes itself.

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 07:13 am by DrDeb

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Dr. Deb, thank you very much for your explanatory post. I am really glad I got to read it. It's an eye opener about a lot of things. As I said before, I am not a horseback rider yet, however, so some of the technical terms are still very strange to me.

 

But I do understand what you said about the one step at a time issue. What amazes me, though, is that this is exactly what clinician X teaches us: Reward the slightest try, one step at a time, pressure motivates but it's the release that teaches, etc. It's exactly what I am doing with my horses. That's how I always understood X's teachings, and that's how I follow them. My horses do not step away from my touch before I touch them, they wait and ask questions. My horses aren't obedient, they are partners. My horses choose to be with me - all of them. Nobody has to 'perform' anything, all we are out for is to have fun (for horse and human) and to build relationships.

 

Certainly, I admit that you will always find a fair share of students that absolutely 'don't get the message' - those students have to over-do everything and over-pressure their horses. Those students want to buy miracles in the box instead of learn. Those are the students that fail and look back at the teachings with blame. Those students are like those people that tell me: I wish my dog would be more like yours. (I hear that all the time.) All I can say is: If you want a dog like mine, change your attitude to where it is similar to mine, but please stop blaming the dog.

 

Again, thanks for your explanations. I really expected something that would devastate me, but instead I got something that shows that I am indeed on the right track.

 

 

hurleycane
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Ditto Jacquie. 

Thank you Dr Deb for your generosity.  You really do convey info with an unrivaled pure clarity and with each read and re-read as several have said - I gain more insight.  

It is such a pleasure to read your work.  It gives meaning even in the midst of message board senselessness as was the intention of this thread's author.  

DrDeb
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Waldo, that's just fine. People occasionally write to me, either here or privately, to ask "how" a person is supposed to get on our recommended list, or in other words, if a certain clinician's name does not appear there, why it does not.

And there are two reasons for this: either I don't know 'em, or I do know 'em. There are certain clinicians who are excluded from the list because I know all about them, I am up on what they taught in the past as well as what they are currently teaching, and from what I hear from them directly, from what their students do, from their public demonstrations, and from the way they do business, I cannot recommend them.

Others who do not appear there, are people that I might like to meet. But before I can recommend anybody, I have to meet them personally.

To get on the recommended list, the clinician does not have to have known our elderly teacher or Ray Hunt. So for example, after meeting Mike Schaffer I was delighted to recommend him. He 'gets it', and his approach to horses and his effect on them is just what I would like to see. And he is honest, un-greedy, not trying to engender a fan club, and treats students well. In my horsemanship classes, I also often show videotapes of the Circus Knie (especially as it was in the 1960's), Nuno Oliveira, and of the Peralta Brothers from Spain. These people are among the world's finest horsemen and I want all students to familiarize themselves with what they exemplify.

From what you have written, Waldo, I almost think that you are riding with Harry or Ray, and that you might be confused about who "clinician X" actually is. But even if you're not, it doesn't matter: if what you are getting out of that school is what you say, then you will be all right.

Unfortunately that's not the case for the majority of what I see coming from those places. It's my hope that the rather complete and detailed reply which acted as an 'eye opener' to you, will also act as an 'eye opener' to other students and even to teachers in the schools which I consider to be problematic, so that they will think it through and make the necessary changes. The idea is to benefit the horses. -- Dr. Deb

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Ditto Jacquie and Hurleycane. If I may paraphrase something Dr. Deb said on another thread, in the end, wherever I and my  horse happen to be, the only reality is that we are two creatures in the presence of our creator. We answer to him alone,and he alone knows the whole truth about how each clinician out there is treating his various creatures.      Waldo, I appreciate that your spirit is very different than that of the OP. I want to say, though, that there's a great deal to learn, and alot of it can be found here- so I hope you'll keep reading. And, as Leah said, re-reading. I really don't see any petty animosity from Dr. Deb towards clinician XX;  tension in his horses has been seen by her and others such as myself, though. Everyone must make their own judgment, but being educated about how to accurately discern tension is a prerequisite that I personally found hard to swallow because I knew I'd find I was causing my own horses more tension  that I like to admit to. Somehow, though, when my skeptical mind becomes convinced there's a cure available, my eyes finally allow me to see the true depth of the problem. I've been around horses since I was a 4-H kid over 30 years ago, and up till now I thought I was much more considerate than the average horse owner. But now I'm learning that neither God nor my horse care how I compare with any other horse owner. We all have to answer for ourselves.  BTW, Billy 1&2, Till We Have Faces is another C.S. Lewis book that's eye-opening.  -Elynne     

Last edited on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 04:57 pm by Tutora

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As a saddle maker I stand on the sidelines looking in at all clinicians xyz. I must say I am very grateful specifically to clinician xxx in that after a meeting with him I became very clear on what type of people I wanted to deal with in the horse industry. So life gives us contrast and from it our preferences are born.

Living with a horse woman who also does clinics I can also understand the frustration, not hostility that is felt by skilled horse people.  Since around here we have a constant flow of people trying to learn horsemanship many have been through one of the x’s programs and I talk to them after they have had a lesson with Liz. Because of this I could very much relate to Deb’s comments.  With no exception there is both a sense of exhilaration from what they just experienced but at the same time they also feel a sense of betrayal when they realize they have been sold something that is far less than what the advertising promised.  So here is how I have come to view it.

Imagine if you would a person that walks in to a museum and sees the work for a great artist. Upon seeing the work a desire arises in them to learn to do the art themselves.  So they go to Hobby lobby and find paint by number kit, because you have to start somewhere.  In the box with the paint by number kit is a fancy brochure advertising paint by number lessons and supplies.  Wow, the path has opened up before them and soon they too will have their work in the museum because the brochure tells them so.

Now over in the rough part of town there is a group of real artist sacrificing everything for their art. They work hard and live for their art.  Occasionally they get a visit from the paint by numbers guy that sells paint by number supplies.  Loving their art they share openly although they know, as of yet, this person has no clue about art but you have to start somewhere.  The paint by numbers guru listens very carefully and is savvy in the ways of man so he incorporates what the real artist say in his brochure so he can sell the idea of the masters to his clients.  He even goes to the trouble of sneaking up behind the artists and gets his picture taken with them so he can further convince his clients that he is the path to artistic greatness.  All this works really well and the paint by number business grows and grows soon others begin to write books and create their own paint by numbers program.    

Over time some of the people in the paint by numbers program get to the point where they feel that maybe there is more to what they are doing or they have been convinced by the paint by number marketer that they have become a great artist so they seek out others of their kind. Some find their way to the rough side of town and want to paint with some of the real artists. The Artists welcome them openly. After all they are saying the things that indicate that they understand art.  In fact sometimes they sound exactly like themselves.  When it comes time to do some actual painting the paint by numbers people ask where their board with numbers is. The artist are set back a by this and assume they want to know where the wood and canvas are.  The artists then realize that the paint by numbers guy has used their own thoughts and ideas to swindle these well meaning people.  The artist then, out of the goodness of their heart, attempt to teach the paint by numbers people how to make a canvas so they can begin their journey in earnest. Some of the people come to realize that the majority of what they learned from the paint by numbers guy will be of no use in the rough part of town.  Others walk away mad and convince themselves that the great master has taught them and they understand more than those foolish artists.

Last edited on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 10:24 pm by David Genadek

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Great post, Dave. So, some of these clinicians are the Bob Ross of the horse world? William Morris said, "Have nothing in your homes which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."  I'd add, "Do nothing with your horse which you do not know to be useful or believe will add to his beauty." Be more discerning, people- skip XX's shamefully overpriced stuff and save up for some excellent lessons. Will XX's pseudo-lunging method help straighten your horse? No- so why squander your horse's  joints on  such a circle? 

Last edited on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 10:33 pm by Tutora

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Respectfully to Waldo and Billy-- I rode and showed western as a kid and then got into dressage on the belief that it was the kindest method for the horse. I eventually got to take lessons with a number of Olympic riders. But I'm a dressage drop-out-- I jumped off that train not because I wasn't doing well, but because I saw where it was headed. I live an hour away from the very prestigious international dressage show here in Pennsylvania. I used to attend every year; long  enough to see that tension, cramped horses, and blow-ups were the norm, not the exception. A few years ago, after a period of few lessons but a lot of experimenting, I tried something -head twirling- I'd gotten from Dr. Deb's book Conquerors. I was doing this on someone's pony whose back was starting to sag. To my amazement, up came that old back with a soft, warm swing. What I'm respectfully trying to say to you, Billy, is that "Grand Prix trainer" in itself may very well mean nothing good to the horse-especially if she was amazed at the bond you have with your horse. Read

Leah's post on "coiling of the loins and true collection". And Waldo, when you're ready to ride, XX's understanding of horses' bodies and ours is minimal compared to Dr. Deb's. I came to this website hoping to improve my physical skills; it's been a surprise to me to realize my metaphysical base needs re-doing. -Elynne

Last edited on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 10:36 pm by Tutora

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Hi Tutora

1.Can you explain to me exactly how you do "twirling" and it's benefits.

2.I'd also like to know what people and Dr.Deb think about (hopefully I can use initials here) the so called 'dressage master XXX'.

Stacy: This is Dr. Deb. Thanks, but no thanks. You don't seem to understand that I have no interest at all in being the one who approves, or disapproves, of who you ride with or who anyone else rides with. It will not avail you to write in here to ask me to give you permission to ride with whoever.

Instead, go look at the recommendations I make through this Website. You are invited to review the descriptions in our "Friends of the Institute" section. Every person on this list is someone whose work I know, and whose business dealings are such that I can recommend them. They are all people of high integrity and they are psychologically healthy; they do not manipulate students, they do not need you as mortar to fill up a gap or a neediness within them. All of them, to greater or lesser extent, have a grasp of deep work.


 

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 07:20 am by DrDeb

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This discussion has been getting a lot of attention on the XXXX forum site, so I had to check it out.  Anyhow I have to say that I really respect you Dr. Deb and I find the info available on your site to be really interesting, and in fact I find that it is some of the only truth available on horses and horse development.
I have to say that I have been to clinician XXXX place and have been studying the program for a few years- and I although I have learned a lot from it all,  I think in many ways you are 100% on in a lot of your criticism.  Having said that a lot of the XXX professionals are doing good work and doing great things with the method.
I do think that the program does get people in and then sort of get them stuck in the mud in all sorts of ways- and I definitely felt that way when I was there.  But I also think that he has good intentions with what they are doing but it all sort of blew up faster than they could get a handle on it.
But the larger problem is there are very few to no good horseman around to learn from and not much information available that is actually the truth for people to find- so people latch on to the one little ray of light that they can find.   I work on some ranches sometimes and I can not believe how undereducated the horses are- and that they even tolerate what most people put them through- when people see me- at least it seems like I have half a clue and an actually methodology to follow - other than catch em saddle jump on kick to go pull to stop and hold on for all the rest-  I just think that has to change- not to mention the lack of method for getting horses started- and atleast clinician xxx has addressed that.

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Well Bob Ross actually teaches some concepts that could lead to some place else so I think using him as an analogy is being kind. He does actually teach you to paint where as the clinicians don't teach you how to ride a horse. You mentioned straightening your horse and I have watched all clinician x's and I don't see them teaching that and with out that your nowhere.  Well not nowhere many will teach the skills you need to be a stable boy. But even there, I'll tell you as the stable boy around here if I was caught using some of thier techniques on Liz's horses I would be fired.

Last edited on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 11:22 pm by David Genadek

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Carey wrote: But the larger problem is there are very few to no good horseman around to learn from and not much information available that is actually the truth for people to find- so people latch on to the one little ray of light that they can find.  


 Hi Carey,

I beg to differ about there being few to no good horseman around.  I would agree that there are few good ones around that market themselves!!!  I know of one on the ESI Friends list who is a masterful horseman.  But if you ask people about him, they are more likely to say "Harry Who?" than to know who he is!!    He hasn't written a book, doesn't have a video out, doesn't have equipment to sell but he is certainly one of the best there is alive today.    

It kinda makes me think of the Dog Whisperer.  Like CM is the only one out there.  I know trainers that would make him look like an amateur, but they are not seeking fame and fortune just going about their lives helping one dog and dog owner at a time.  CM is a pet peeve of mine, I wish someone besides him would get some friggin' air time!

Respectfully,

Kathy

 

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I just don't see that there is that much of a difference between the different clinicians in what they do,  some people relate to certian individuals better that is all.  I check out that Harry's website and it seems like he is mimicing clinician xyz -I don't know but that is what it looks like.  But I would like to check out the Birdie book.
I would actually really like to know what techniques that clinician xxx uses that people are so opposed to?  OR is it the whole feeling of the organization.  I have to say that I was given a 7 year old Hanoverian gelding a few years agoto turn out at my house who was pretty crazy and the program that I have used has really made him a more centered  horse- people used to be like "ahh why can't that horse stand still" and now they want to know "where do you get a horse like that".  But I do feel there is some missing info on biomechanics which I have had to look for and I don't think you can teach horsemanship in a box.  People need mentors and instruction because sometimes you have no idea what you are doing up there especially if it is an old habit.

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So true about there being plenty of good horseman out there as well as a ton of happy horses who never heard of any clinician.  Horses have been prized and horseman have been groomed and trained for a long long time.

Which brings to mind something else I really value about following this forum - it is the reference to the varied schools of equestrian over the ages and how they play into our current styles and keeping manners.  It piqued my interest (thank you Dave Genadek) so I purchased the Dr Deb's Conquerors: The Roots of New World Horsemanship.   This book is an incredible must read for anyone interested in deepening their understanding of horsemen through the ages.  And it is written as only a passionate horsemen could write.

I know the posters here need no convincing of Dr Deb's worth and contributions, but it sure is nice to have the opportunity to give her thanks for what she has worked to keep alive in this forum and that incredible book.  And as well many thanks to Dr Deb for the great professional horseman she brings to this forum.  Which BTW is not at all a chat board, and I fear I may get my wrists slapped at any moment.  But, just one more thing - Have we seen the suggested readings list  Dr Deb had mentioned she would compile??  I can't wait to get that library started.

Last edited on Sun Oct 26th, 2008 02:33 am by hurleycane

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Dr. Deb, once again, thanks for your reply. It was very nice of you to say that by what I wrote, you 'almost think I ride with Harry or Ray'. But I really don't. And I really promise that I am not confused about who Clinician X is. Clinician X is my mentor. I like his courses in the box, but I do have to admit that I learn a lot more by watching him and by listening to him. When I watch him, I know why he does, when he does what he does. It really, absolutely makes a lot of sense to me, and from what I found on this forum, I honestly do not find much difference between your teachings and his.

 

The only big difference I see is that he tries to convey his teachings to a broarder audience, so that everybody gets a chance to learn. Even willing students overseas. I am originally from Germany (that's why you might find some grammar or spelling errors in my posts), and I can tell you that people there are in desparate need of some good horsemanship. People here in the States are spoiled with good horsemen, but it can be pretty cruel world for horses over there.

 

Anyway, I had the heart and the desire to do things the 'right' way, way before I ever heard of xxx. He has put some puzzle pieces in place for me, and life is just grand.

 

As for the packaged lessons: I was not fortunate enough to have been born with horses in my backyard. The boxes have helped me a lot. It was not hard for me to understand the messages in the packages. I have never even attended any clinics, and I am still able to enjoy a beautiful and trusting partnership with my horses.

 

Unfortunately, not all students are the same. But the quality, the heart and the attitude of the students should not be blamed on the teacher. I bet that even a Tom or Bill Dorrance had students that 'just didn't get it'. However, I'm sure that didn't take away from their quality as horsemen. It only meant that some people just didn't get it.

 

With this said, I'm going to bed now. Thanks so much for all your patience, for your honesty and also for an interesting debate. I am addicted to learning, and this discussion has been a very good learning experience.

 

:-)))

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Carey:

Thirty years ago ago I thought I was a pretty good horseman.  I even taught some lessons back then -- but not as an occupation.  I know a whole lot less now than I did then.  

Joe

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Waldo,

I want to express my sincere thanks to you for being able to calmly converse with us and express your opinion. I'm very glad to hear that you seem to be heading in the right direction, but I do hope that at some point you realise that Clinician X is not really taking you in that direction. Looking through his website, there are countless examples of oversimplification, trying to put a horse or a problem into a 'box' so that the reader can think "Oh great, then I just have to follow these simple steps." It really doesn't seem to me that there is any emphasis on responding to or understanding the horse.

Reassuring me, though, is your obvious willingness to question and analyse what you know and what you learn. May you never lose that.

Peace,
Helen

P.S. Hat mich auch wirklich gefreut, dass die Deutsche auch aus dem Drissurkreis kommen koennen. Viel Glueck in der Zukunft :)

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I have no idea at all who the 'clinician xxxx' is (or are) who everyone here is referring to.

It is a little frustrating not to know who he, she or they are, and although I understand the laudable desire to not publicise or publicly put down any individual who is considered by this web host to be not giving good advice to horse owners, I find it a bit irritating to read a conversation about someone who everyone else seems to know, but I do not! A bit like being at primary school and not being let in on the secret by a group of girls!

Natural' is a worryingly frequent prefix used for many of the clinicians who are not always so good and these types do seem to also have their own particular set of quick fixes and  specialist required equipment - all at discount prices, and these generally seem to be really good ones to avoid - or at least be suspicious of - but there must be a better way for people to judge whether you are going to be ripped off surely?

I have not used any 'clinicians' myself, natural or otherwise, but have seen a few demonstrations by various 'experts' and I have read a good few books for sure. Many seem to be catering for nervous horse handlers, or raw beginners, or both.

Like Joe in Texas I now realise how much I do not know, after living with and having the pleasure of owning horses for nearly 30 years - and like Joe having taught people to ride as well.

Well Joe, We live and we learn eh! Slowly!

I do belong to a Classical Riding Club in the UK, though it is available on-line abroad too and the club has recommended people to train with, who are from all over the world. I have taken myself and my horses for lessons in UK from people recommended by this club - all have been to good effect I think - with no special equipment sold and no 'Natural' prefixes to their style! I am off on the 29th Oct to Andalusia to train with another CRC recommended trainer for a week - how lucky I am! I absolutely cant wait to get there!

 

Jacquie




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Hello Helen

In clinician x's program, there actually is a huge emphasis on "reading the horse" and "understanding his personality" and then knowing what to do and how to respond.  This a major major point in this program. They call it the 'XXXX profile'.  This profile is available on their website but the educational info on this is amazingly accurate.

Jess: This is Dr. Deb. I would not follow the ideas on the website you refer to. Not only that one, but there are others like it; there is a woman clinician (referred to earlier in this thread) who has published articles and even a book on how to read a horse's personality from the bumps on its head. And there's another man who divides them up into numerous categories.

None of these systems is going to help you do anything but develop prejudices about horses. Prejudice prevents; prejudice limits; prejudice pre-categorizes -- it "knows ahead of time." It knows that this or that horse is going to be stubborn, or "resistant", or "more difficult" ahead of any actual evidence.

What you need instead is to learn how to READ a horse. Every horse. Every different horse, at every different time and situation. The Birdie Book has over 500 sequence photos, with my commentary, to help you develop this ability. Not once in the entire book do I ever relate the shape of a horse's head to its likely actions or its ability to learn. Never do I categorize them as "this type of horse" or "that type of horse". '

It's very important that beginners learn to view each horse as an absolute individual. And the reason it's important is that, unless you learn to read each horse in each moment, you're going to be caught out badly -- you will have the horse all "categorized" according to whatever silly system you have been taught, but the HORSE never heard of that system. Meanwhile, if you don't actually get kicked or run over, he'll surprise you in some other way, by not responding as you had expected.

When this happens to the gurus who lead these schools that I don't recommend, they will tell you every time that it was YOUR fault for not having learned their method well enough! But never that their method had no real meaning in the first place.

Jess, you'll notice also that all these schools offer "levels". That's another thing that horses have never heard of. There is no such thing as a "level" in reality. There is only what you can do with your horse in the here-and-now, and that will be based on how well you can read your horse in the here-and-now. To be effective with horses, you have to be able to read them well enough -- you have to be able to see the "Birdie" well enough -- to be able to catch the horse between the idea and the act. -- Dr. Deb

 

 

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 07:37 am by DrDeb

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Dr Deb, thank you for your most comprehensive answer regarding the HQ "escape" as an example of a harmful misunderstanding and for filling in the blanks about "filling in". I have some thoughts that I'll just lay out here as a way of checking for understanding.

I have experienced both the HQ escape problem and the solution. While that example was quite specific, it does have an extension into everything else. That extension would be the ability to differentiate between a response and a reaction, between compliance and escape/avoidance, between softness and lightness, between responsiveness and sensitivity. They are not necessarily opposites, but they are distinct from eachother. Some important aspects are the timing/manner of the release and the  volume/manner of the request - which derive from understanding how the horse percieves and learns. We have found it helpful to continually ask "How little does it take?", "How can I make this clearer for the horse?" and "How will I know when to stop?".

Regarding the horse filling in, I can only refer to my own experiences as below which I have largely cut and pasted from a post in another forum . . .

The one thing that really made this (filling in) sink in for me was a short paragraph I read in an article written by a clinician whose name now escapes me. He said that your sphere of awareness needs to encompass your horse's sphere of awareness. Your horse needs to know that you percieve the things that he percieves - or else how can your horse feel safe with you if you are not noticing what he notices? How can you be a good leader if you are less aware of the environment than he is? and thus, how can he trust you to keep him safe?

Like Waldo, I do not ride presently. What I do is general care of my daughter's horse and hand walking him down public roads for feet conditioning and general wellbeing as well as some hill time from the ground for activating certain muscles.
I suspect that Waldo has discovered the same benefits that I have of spending copious amounts of time on the ground.

When I walk down the road with the horse, I am not asking for much more than for him to stay with me. This frees up enough of my mental capacity to begin noticing the smallest things that he finds important - surprisingly small things that I believe so many people miss - and I make it a point to let him know that I noticed them too. These things can be as subtle as a new tire mark on the road, where distant animals have been moved from one paddock to another, if a tree has been trimmed, smells, noises, whether there is mail sticking out of a letter box, if a gate in a driveway is open or shut. I allow him to investigate the things in the environment that interest him (within reason) even if it is sniffing the same piece of poo (which may even be his own) that he has sniffed everyday for the past week. If he has a problem with something, maybe it's rubbish collection day and all the bins are out, I try to help him with that.

What I learn from all of this is what is important to this horse. It never ceases to amaze me how perceptive they are to these little things - and likewise it amazes me how much importance they place on them along with how much it means to the horse that I notice them too.


Here's a little something I have been observing lately. I noticed this after someone posted that one member of a herd had the responsibility of keeping track of things on the ground. While out in less familiar territory with my horse, I expand my field of awareness to take in the distant things and take notice of them, and see how my horse's field of perception shifts to the ground in the immediate area. Then shift my awareness to the immediate area and see how my horse's focus expands to take in the more distant things.

That's my experience of "filling in". . . . . . .


I don't view "filling in" as a necessarily bad thing - in fact, I think it is a basis upon which a partnership can be built, with shared responsibilities - but only if you understand and are conscious of what you are asking of the horse, which necessarily includes what he is apt to "fill in".

Am I on the right track or am I still missing the point?

Last edited on Sun Oct 26th, 2008 12:55 pm by Blue Flame

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Thanks Helen, also for your German words.

 

I am a rather skeptical person that is not lightly bullied into unwanted decisions or taken in by glamour, fame and prestige. I was one of those lonely kids that saw a best friend in every and any animal. I'm not lonely anymore, but animals have not lost their meaning to me. I take them the way they are, try to understand what 'makes them tick' (not just by species but also the individuals) and I try to find my place in their circles. I don't believe in changing an animal to make it fit my agenda, which is why I never went for the more 'normal' approach in animal handling.

 

When I learned about XXX, what I heard and what I observed fit my philosophy. All my live I was looked at as a strange and crazy woman for even considering an animals point of view. Finally, there was someone that wanted people to do exactly that. Finally, there was someone who tried to change the world. And I am building on that. I'm even building my own personality on that. I'm no longer a pathetically shy person that is afraid of standing up for herself. I am who I am. I don't have to change for my animals, I don't want my animals to change for me, and I don't want to change for other people. I learned some invaluable skills in communicating effectively without being overbearing. I had the heart for it before XXX entered my life, but finally I found my missing link.

 

As for the courses in the box. They are indeed worth every penny, but one cannot rely just on the material that's provided. It's not a study program like history in school, it's more like math, physics or chemistry: You read what you read, but in math, physics and chemistry, you still have to make the connections. The books can only provide so much information, the rest is up to your emotional and mental flexibility, and it is up to your ability to use some common sense.

 

The boxes are not history lessons, they are only one 'tool' to set you up for a long and wonderful journey, but one should never forget that the horse is still the best and most important teacher in this journey. The way I got started was this: I learned my ABCs following the first box step by step, I started the second box but never finished it. I found that I can learn more and develop my own individual horsemanship skills more by listening and observing XXX, and I only fall back on the boxes when I get stuck in the rutt. Has worked wonders for me and my horses. And a lot of bucking incidences that made my rear end connect with a very hard ground in the past now make sense. I understand what happened, and I also understand that I need to address certain problems on the ground, where it is safer for a novice rider.

 

Good luck to you all.

Waldo

David Genadek
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I agree that there are a lot of good horse men around and I also know you can’t be lazy about finding them.  You see there is something that happens to people who have seen the invitation to enter the world of the horse and have walked in.   Mans values suddenly become distorted and skewed to them. Getting them to leave the world of the horse can be a challenge.  I believe horses share consciousness; it is a natural way for them.   Real horsemen know this. They understand that you cannot make another conscious of this other than on a one to one basis.  It involves helping people find the right thoughts they as an individual’s need to think to create the proper emotional state within themselves that the horse can recognize so it will open up to them.  So you see horsemanship is not what you do to the horse it is what you find in yourself.   

“Horsemanship is a place of being before a means of doing.” Liz Graves

The x’s teach a means of doing (most don’t even understand that) not a place of being and I think as you move forward in your quest you will learn to see the difference.  You can’t learn this in a book you have to be around people that know it before you will be able to really recognize it.

Here is a poem that Deb wrote many years ago that says it well.

As we see it -

The biggest problem in the horse industry today:
We have forgotten the ghost in the machine.


Who or what is the ghost in the machine?
It's the horse itself.


No matter what our competitive demands,
The nature of the animal
has not changed
In thousands of years.


What we ask of him ...
What we do with him ...
The environment
we ask him to work in ...
The tack we put on him
... has got to be


"About The Horse"

Carey
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 The thing that gets me when I read the criticism with clinician X is the fact that it doesn't seem like anyone is really familiar with what they teach.  They emphasis the emotional/mental/spiritual side of the horse way over the physical.   The program that they teach is "Way more than Riding" in that it is a way to use horsemanship as self development so that you can become a more centered and concious individual and develop a willing partnership with a horse.  Some people do not get this and get task oriented and I admit are really quite clumsy and maybe should take up bike riding instead of horsmanship- but you see that in everything.
They teach you to become part horse so that you can see the world from the horses point of view- to some of this this is innate and to others it is hard to learn- but that is the xxx program- it is not about HQ yields and bridless riding- it is about partnership unity and harmony.
And the other thing is they have created a community of like minded individuals who gather and host clinics or people like XXXX and even Dr Deb Bennet.  And I find that to be really a great contribution.
All that being said-  I myself have felt really confused about what clincian xxxx has created- and in some ways I do think that he has no idea what he is doing or where they are going- he used to do well sort of goofing off and now he has a whole bunch of people following him-  that fact is really apparent when you go to his place-  It really is the blind leading the blind- but there is some type of star quality that he and his wife have that is pretty captivating that leads me to believe that they are one to some level of truth.
So I feel really grateful to have found this Forum because I have felt for a long time like something was missing- so Perhaps eveything Deb has brought to light is true.  I can't wait to dive into some of Dr Debs materials.  Thanks Carey

Carey: This is Dr. Deb. You are a very sweet person, and I appreciate your attempt to be rational and fairminded. You mention that this 'greater organization' of Clinician XXX has sponsored Dr. so-and-so (whose name is, for very good reasons, forbidden here), and also myself.

Let me tell you the real situation, because you are misinformed about this. Dr. So-and-so has hovered, for many years, on the fringes of what our elderly teacher was offering. Like many mixed-up people, he lusts to get "in", to be part of the REAL "inner circle." You might be pretty young, Carey, so as not to know how common this temptation is -- and how incredibly strong it is -- the desire for POWER.

For whatever reason, Dr. So-and-so did not, or perhaps could not, bring himself to just attend or join in when our elderly teacher was publicly teaching. Perhaps he felt he deserved a special audience; it certainly looks to me like that is how this man thinks -- that there is a hierarchy, with the important people at the top, among which he numbers himself and also me.

So I had the amusing experience over one long weekend of actually being kidnapped by Dr. So-and-so: not knowing the man on sight, I accepted a ride with him to a remote ranch. My sponsor at the ranch had arranged the ride, also innocent of the greedy desires of Dr. So-and-so, who thought, I believe, that if he could only have me aside privately for the duration of the ride and then wine me and dine me at the ranch over the weekend, that I would then become his ticket to the "inner circle." I let him know as soon as I figured out who he was, that he might as well have another think coming, for his teachings are WAY off -- but his ego is so far invested in marketing his methodology that he is not ever going to stop doing it, withdraw all the harmful videotapes, and open himself to learning better.

And Carey, as to not knowing what Clinician XX is actually teaching -- again and again I have mentioned in this thread that I have been around longer than Clinician XX. Clinician XX never knew our elderly teacher, and never was with him, until after I had already been with him several years. Clinician XX came to our elderly teacher because he perceived that it would be good for his business success if he were to be seen with our elderly teacher. On one occasion he invited our elderly teacher to go for a little private stroll with him, and "just by chance" a photographer (who had been planted), popped out of the bushes and caught a snapshot of our teacher apparently having a private conversation with Clinician XX.

Our elderly teacher was unaware that this had been staged. When others pointed it out to him, he expressed to Clinician XX that it might just be as well if he didn't come to events anymore. I have also had the same thing happen: a certain saddlemaker and dressage enthusiast had a booth at a convention where I was speaking. He asked me to come over to his booth to view his saddles, and I agreed in all innocence. When I got there, luckily, I spotted the photographer and managed to turn my back before the photograph could be taken. I then informed the saddlemaker that he might as well not count on any help from me, at any time henceforth. You see, Carey, how very manipulative and self-serving a lot of people who work in the horse industry can be. They are, in my estimation, all alike: they operate from the fear that they will never have ENOUGH. This would be funny if it weren't so tragic (because all of them live in the greatest country on earth, where there is so much abundance that nobody could possibly use it all; and even more so, they live in a universe where God would love them, if they would only become aware of it and grateful for it).

Now the other thing I URGENTLY want to mention to you, Carey, is that whenever anyone has "....some kind of star quality," that should be your FIRST warning that you are in the presence of snake-oil salesmen. Honey, they depend upon the stars in your eyes to dull your brain and open your wallet. You are innocent, I think, but please -- come on -- wake up. Sometimes, folks, I don't know whether to laugh or cry but Carey might actually be grateful for the sort of help I am trying to give her here. -- Dr. Deb 

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 06:04 am by DrDeb

Tutora
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Hi Carey -You won't be disappointed. I say that as a naturally skeptical, need-to-dig-for-the-truth kind of person.

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Hi Waldo and Jess--In the same vein as my above post, I have a sincere question. I saw XX ride his own horse over several days at a horse expo; I think it was in 2005. From what I saw in quite a number of situations in that arena, I would not have let him ride one of my horses. Previous to the expo, I had watched the X  Xxxx'x tape which I'd received in late 2004. In that tape he's demonstrating with a chestnut Arab cross looking mare with a blaze and 3 stockings. I think he's in Australia. Is that video current? If it's not, has he hugely changed his teachings? The mare, who he says is doing well working on Level 2, is very stressed out 75% out the time---right down to the flapping Arab lower lip (not licking, though she calms right down and does relax her jaw when he's petting her). Her head is way up whenever he's asking her to move. And she's always looking way to the outside of any circles he puts her on. Was that mare just a casualty of his need to make a tape? He really seems to think she's going well. I really am asking this in a sincere manner: Again, has he greatly changed- not so much his words, but his actions-- over the past 3 years? His words didn't bother me--it was what he did and also what he failed to do for that mare and for his own horse when I saw him in person in 2005 that really bothered me.  --with genuine regard, Elynne

Last edited on Sun Oct 26th, 2008 06:49 pm by Tutora

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As an old German saying has it (translated) "We grow too soon old and too late wise."

Joe

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Hi Stacy  -I mentioned head twirling on an earlier post and you asked me about it. There are some great answers on other threads so I'll point some of them out. First, there's "Woody" and " True Collection" in the Knowledge Base. Then, try these threads: "Twirling the Head"--Adrienne's answer on Oct.11, 2007; "Baucher"-- Pauline Moore's reply on Feb. 22, 2008; "Raising the Base of the Neck"--all of Pauline Moore's descriptions of musculature (sorry I forgot to note the date of the OP). Leah's post "Can we please talk about coiling of the loins..." might apply here, too. As for XX, I know he's been outspoken against Rollkur, but I've never seen him nor read one of his books, so -- rare for me -- I'm without an opinion. :) --Elynne        

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 07:44 am by DrDeb

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Carey wrote:  The thing that gets me when I read the criticism with clinician X is the fact that it doesn't seem like anyone is really familiar with what they teach.  They emphasis the emotional/mental/spiritual side of the horse way over the physical.   The program that they teach is "Way more than Riding" in that it is a way to use horsemanship as self development so that you can become a more centered and concious individual and develop a willing partnership with a horse.  Some people do not get this and get task oriented and I admit are really quite clumsy and maybe should take up bike riding instead of horsmanship- but you see that in everything.
They teach you to become part horse so that you can see the world from the horses point of view- to some of this this is innate and to others it is hard to learn- but that is the xxx program- it is not about HQ yields and bridless riding- it is about partnership unity and harmony.
And the other thing is they have created a community of like minded individuals who gather and host clinics or people like XXXX and even Dr Deb Bennet.  And I find that to be really a great contribution.
All that being said-  I myself have felt really confused about what clincian xxxx has created- and in some ways I do think that he has no idea what he is doing or where they are going- he used to do well sort of goofing off and now he has a whole bunch of people following him-  that fact is really apparent when you go to his place-  It really is the blind leading the blind- but there is some type of star quality that he and his wife have that is pretty captivating that leads me to believe that they are on to some level of truth.
So I feel really grateful to have found this Forum because I have felt for a long time like something was missing- so Perhaps eveything Deb has brought to light is true.  I can't wait to dive into some of Dr Debs materials.  Thanks Carey



Here are some statistics on domestic abuse. You will see that nearly a million women a year are being abused. How much of that is being done in the name of love? Does the fact that over a million people a year are attracted to this type of behavior mean that it is good?

David -- This is Dr. Deb. I don't think we need the statistics, so I've removed them -- your point is made without the need for any more. In the posts below, Waldo is disturbed at anyone making a comparison between domestic violence/rape and what we see in Clinician XXX's public presentations and videotapes. You haven't given Waldo any background -- it's too big a leap for him.

The story that Waldo needs to hear is this one: Once upon a time, there was a man who saw a woman to whom he was attracted, and he approached her and asked her if she would go out on a date with him. But the woman didn't think too much of the man, so she said no, politely but firmly.

Well, this didn't set too well with the man. In fact, the longer he thought about it, the more it seemed to him that the woman OUGHT to go out with him. "She is so beautiful," he thought to himself, "so if ONLY she would cooperate with me, then we could be seen in public together -- and that would make ME look SO good."

So later that night he drove his car to the woman's house. He got out of his car and knocked on the door. When she opened it, he reached in and grabbed her, and dragged her to his car. He used "all the force it would take, but no more than it would take," and he stuffed her into the passenger seat and slammed the door.

Now the point of this story is to get our students to realize what the woman is feeling! Not too difficult I imagine to do that! There would be fear, and very likely also a certain slyness, because the woman might figure he was so dangerous that the only way to come out of it alive would be for her to fake cooperation until she could find a moment when he might be inattentive, and then she could bolt.

And another object of this story is to get students to re-imagine the plot in any number of different ways -- what if she liked him just fine in the first place? What if he had done more to convince her without force?

And also: it should provoke this question -- when is force 'force'? How much physicality constitutes "force"? Who decides when we should call it "force"? Could it still be force at very low levels of physicality? If the answer to the last question is 'yes', then obviously we cannot use literal measures of physicality to measure "force" -- there has to be something deeper.

The "something deeper", we think, relates back to the man's attitude. He does not want the woman for herself; he values her only insofar as she is useful to him. This -- the Bible calls it Covetousness -- is what drives the man's actions. There is something wrong or "off" inside the man. Perhaps this is what the woman sensed initially, the basic reason she said 'no'.

It doesn't stop there. The man not only covets the woman, he also becomes angry and vengeful when he can't initially get his way. One of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes is this: that the very signature, or motto, of Hell is: "if I can't have it, you can't have it either." This is the opposite of "....and the greatest of these is charity." Charity, that burns in the countenance of the very angels, if the man had had that, would be the inner attitude that would drive him to ask himself WHY she had said 'no' in the first place, and to repair and improve all he could within himself before doing anything else.

This is the essence of what I call 'deep work'.

Everyone reading this thread: please follow on down as I make 'internal' comments in several other posts. I've been returning to California by plane for the last 24 hours and thus unable to monitor this thread for that time. -- Dr. Deb

 

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 05:39 am by DrDeb

Blue Flame
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David Genadek wrote: . . . . They understand that you cannot make another conscious of this other than on a one to one basis. . . .  . . . . You can’t learn this in a book you have to be around people that know it before you will be able to really recognize it. . . .

Since this is a sentiment that appears to be often repeated here, I would like to challenge it - not so much whether it is right or wrong - but because it is being expressed as an absolute.

Someone, somewhere, somewhen, was the first to discover the connection you are referring to and I have no doubt at all, that from that time to this, others have made the same discoveries totally independently.

As for books, well people learn in different ways. For some, the written word allows them to have control of the time frame they need to digest the information, read between the lines and make the connections. Conversely, clinic and group learning situations with time constraints can be a formidable barrier - especially when the situation evokes emotional responses not conducive to the learning.

The repeated expression of the sentiments quoted as if they were absolute facts sets the alarms going on my BS-o-meter.

Blue Flame, this is Dr. Deb. You are asking when mankind first discovered the deep principles of horsemanship. To get an answer to that, go look at a book that shows the paintings from the walls of the cave at Lascaux, or any of the other caves in the French and Spanish Pyrenees. Those paintings are not less than 12,000 years old, and they come from a time before people had domesticated horses. Or look at some of the rock art of the American Indians -- of course that relates to buffalo, moose, and elk because it was before horses were brought back to the Americas. In "The Birdie Book", I reproduce an Amerindian rock drawing showing the buffalo's spirit proceeding out of its mouth, just as you can (if you have the eyes to see it), see a horse's spirit coming out of its mouth when it yearns to be with another horse, or with a human.

There are, I believe, two "streams" by which deep knowledge of animals, or the possibility of animal mastery, has entered this plane of existence. One stream is from Outside: God if you will. Every once in a while, and in the Birdie Book I report historical records of at least four of them since the 18th century, a person is born on earth who just seems to have the deep knowledge innately. They have it from early childhood, and other people notice this and comment upon it. They can do almost-magical things with animals, and they tend to grow up such that they arrange their whole lives around animals. Our elderly teacher was one such man; he had horses, cattle, dogs, and, he told me, he had once gone on an African safari and enjoyed that too. I asked him if he found the African animals to be like his horses (and he always told us that our horses should be just like dogs), and he said 'yes'.

The other "stream" is the historical stream. This is the stream by which father teaches son or daughter. This seems generally to be weaker, but it's still possible that a man or woman who is a great horseman can have children that are great horsemen and horsewomen. The best examples of this that I know of are the Knie and Konyot families of circus fame. Of course the historical stream begs the question: how far back in this family can you carry it? Was Freddy Knie, Sr., an avatar as our elderly teacher was an avatar? In my view, the answer to this is 'yes'.

So, Blue Flame, you can push the re-set on your BS-o-meter. When we tell you that an avatar -- an incarnation of a being with superior insight to the true nature of animals -- came among us in our time, the truth is not being stretched -- in fact no description of it that I can give would probably be big enough to be adequate. And when we also tell you, and others reading here, that there are quite a few people out there who want to be thought of as avatars themselves, we are also not lying to you. They want what they can never have. The funny part is, if they could stop wanting it so bad, they might find at least part of it.

You've been good enough, Blue Flame, and so has Waldo, to admit that you aren't the most experienced. This is the most serious problem that you have, because, yes, it is really true, you cannot learn horsemanship by reading words. You cannot learn it by watching anyone's videotape program. The ONLY way it can be learned is by spending time with someone who "gets it", who is not a surface worker like the man whose videotapes you have been viewing. All I can tell you and Waldo both, is that the difference between those we recommend, and the surface workers, is real and important. Having heard that, you can either believe it (and go find some of our recommended people); or not believe it (in which case, we'll figure on seeing you in five years or so).

Meanwhile, either way, I want to recommend some reading to you, which will help (you see I don't recommend just any BOOK, either):

1. "Kinship with All Life" by J. Allen Boone

2. "Zen in the Art of Archery" by Eugen Herrigel

3. "Mastery" by Leonard (I forget his first name).

Best wishes -- Dr. Deb 

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 08:06 pm by DrDeb

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David Genadek wrote: Here are some statistics on domestic abuse. You will see that nearly a million women a year are being abused. How much of that is being done in the name of love? Does the fact that over a million people a year are attracted to this type of behavior mean that it is good?

Drawing parallels between the x's and murderers, rapists and wifebeaters? C'mon!!

BS-o-meter now has smoke and sparks flying out of it as it bounces around the benchtop. Blue Flame, this is Dr. Deb: Go back up in this thread and read the comments I have made to you and also to Dave G. above. Thanks -- Dr. Deb

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 06:46 am by DrDeb

thegirlwholoveshorses
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Can we get back to our normal routine of asking horsemanship questions and discussing our horsemanship/horse ownership experiences?  Doesn't anyone out there have a genuine, burning question or issue that has nothing to do with anyone else's methods, books, videos, clinics, etc?!  I love logging on each day to read NEW threads; questions & discussions with Dr. Deb about solutions.  Even questions that revisit old threads and further discussion and understanding.  THAT is how I grow in my understanding.  While some of this thread has brought up good information, some amusing arguments, and debate, it has grown tiring because no one is asking questions anymore about their own horse, their own experience, what is happening TODAY when they went out to ride or work with their horse. 

Happy trails!

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People get trapped in unhealthy relationships all the time and think it is as good as it gets. I see it with horses all the time. It is like talking to woman ,sporting a shiner her husband gave her, telling me what a good guy he is. However the point was that just because a lot of people are in a unhealthy relationship or drawn to an unhealthy relationship doesn't make unhealthy relationships good.

David Genadek

christie
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David Genadek wrote: People get trapped in unhealthy relationships all the time and think it is as good as it gets. 

I have never believed this, but I could be entirely wrong. I don't believe people don't think it can be better, I think it's that staying with what IS is more comfortable than making a change.

About a year ago I left a boarding situation that was 'comfortable' in every way except for some emotional abuse I was accepting from a person.  The abuse was nothing more to me than exceptionally annoying, and eventually I left when a clear 'opening' arrived...it was a wonderful opening but making the change was still hard!

 

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First, I am talking about clinicians in the abstract and the type of relationships I am speaking of can be seen though out the horse world.  Many of you seem to have trouble looking from a broader perspective.

Jess

 I have, and from my perspective I see it as very abusive and confusing to the horse as compared to the horsemanship I am accustomed to.  In fact I just don't understand why people think horses need such intense and constant pressure.  As Liz always says; "They aren't alligators." From my perspective much of the instruction in the horse world is more about the Human gaining a sense of power and control over the horse than it is about establishing a working relationship. That is just what the actual actions tell me.  I don't listen to the words I observe the reality around me. Keep in mind that I speak with horse people from all over the world everyday and as rule folks don't usually find me until everyone else has failed them so it could be that my perspective is skewed and I am only hearing from a small percentage. However, when I do see videos or watch people at Expos or even go look at their web sites I see crooked horses, horses pushed to the point of insanity and controlled and manipulated to make the person look good.  I'm just not in to that.

I am gloriously happy in my insanity.  Hooray for the insane !!!!

David Genadek

 

 

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Ew David, I have been reading this thread with great interest but I must say the analogy to rape and domestic violence did actually push the envelope a pinch for me.

It might be interesting and a bit ironic to note that Clinician X uses the same analogy when describing present day 'competitive dressage'-he calls it rape.

I actually have the same issue with his use.

Perhaps it is because I know people that have lived through this misfortune, that drawing similarities just leaves me a little cold.

Back to the discussion...I actually have thought about offering comments. I have been involved with Program X for MANY years, but never on an exclusive level...It was because of frustration with the physical development of my horse within Program X that lead me to Dr Deb!

I find myself in a position of having been exposed to all elements of that program and now absorbing the best I can of Dr Deb's teaching. I find myself 'checking' one teaching to the other to see where the differ in principle.

It is interesting!

Last edited on Sun Oct 26th, 2008 11:33 pm by Leah

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I would love to know what tape that is Tutora.

I will answer your question but I want to give it some thought. I want to give as unbiased an answer as I can so I need to sit and think first! LOL.

Yes, Program X has changed over the years in many ways, but I also see Clinician X in videos from years ago and then now and see consistency.

I would prefer to answer the question specifically as to what you saw vs. now but if we can't sort through what tape it was then I will give my general impressions!

Leah, Tutora, and Jess: Your sub-conversation on this topic has been deleted because it would be more appropriate for you to discuss this through your own private correspondence. As you know, I do not recommend ANY videotape or other program produced, at any period of time, by Clinician XXX, but if you like this stuff, then you're of course free to discuss it privately.  -- Dr. Deb

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 07:49 am by DrDeb

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Dave, I do agree with you that many clinicians are abusive to the animals-and many do so in the name of natural.

I guess I just cringe a little on the topic in general...

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I am not going to call what I saw happening at the xxx place abuse, but it definetely is some sort of control, and it is because they tell people not to go to other teachers and to only come to them for information and that is for your own good as a learner.  I found that obscene- especially when it comes to starting young horses.  There just aren't xx's horse starters in my area and I am quite capable of doing it myself and plenty athletic I am a trained dancer and Yoga instructor, but these young inexperienced instructors that they have with no life experience prance around forbidding anything of the sort.  That has been one of my main concerns with the whole thing. 

Carey, this is Dr. Deb. Anytime ANYONE in ANY walk of life starts telling you that you are "...only to come to them for instruction, and that is for your own good as a learner", you should be highly suspicious. In fact, you should start looking around to see whether there is a bowl of Kool-Aid.

I have had to laugh because this happens to me all the time: I get accused by people who would love to join a sect, of running a sect. Some of our longer-term readers will be able to remember a couple of instances not that long ago, when someone who wrote in here and received an answer from me that they didn't like, would come back and accuse me of demanding that they study "only" with me or that I would be trying to "control" what they read.

Accusations like this come out of the person's emotional state at the time -- that is, a state of fear. Because, Carey, the SCARIEST thing in the world is freedom, and that is what I offer to students. They are absolutely free to accept what I tell them or not. If they intend to be in my class, they must obey my direction while in the class (that is for safety, and also so that I can convey whatever teaching or insights). But that's all that I ask -- the one hour of the person's time, that during that hour they set aside any other ideas and allow me to teach them. Apart from that, there is no school, no "movement", no "training", no levels, and no method.

No one has ever learned to train a horse, Carey, except through feeling that they had the freedom to experiment with their horse. -- Dr. Deb


Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 08:01 am by DrDeb

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Leah wrote: Dave, I do agree with you that many clinicians are abusive to the animals-and many do so in the name of natural.

I guess I just cringe a little on the topic in general...


Rightly so!

Yes, I agree with all of this too. The rape analogy has truth in it, and the most uncomfortable part about it is that the ESSENCE of rape has nothing to do with sex. It is right that this realization should be disturbing. -- Dr. Deb

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 08:04 am by DrDeb

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Leah- It sounds like a good idea to wait for input from Dr. Deb. Thanks. I want to be candid by saying that it's because a fair number of people around here (where I live) are - or perhaps were-- into XX's program that I'm trying to understand how they find it acceptable; it's a huge turn-off for me so I know I'm not objective. But I'm trying to be fair and maybe tone down my "ick" gut reaction if someone can give me good reasons to. If this sounds snobbish, I'm sorry- I don't mean it to sound like that. I saw my tape is copyrighted 1995, though it was bought in 2004.  

Last edited on Mon Oct 27th, 2008 03:29 am by Tutora

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Tutora, you are a very nice and plite lady. Sorry I couldn't get back any sooner, but we are stuck in remodeling our house, and my day was rather full and exhausting. Unfortunately, I have never watched the video you are inquiring about, so I won't be able to offer any comments. All I can tell you is that I have started learning under xxx in 04 (I think), all my horses were rescue horses with extreme issues. One was locked in his dark, dusty stall for 5 months after weaning (no turn-out at all) - that's when we bought him. The other one was locked in her stall for 11 months (no turn-out at all) after a horrible accident that caused the loss of some visual functions. Another one had a 2-year old foot injury that has never been tended to and resulted in proudflesh the size of a baseball, and also the loss of most of her frog tissue and the loss of part of her hoofwall. JoDi was supposed to go to slaughter. And little Munchkin was dumped at the vet to be put down - poor little guy (he's a Mini) couldn't even walk, his hooves were so long and painfull - and he was skin and bones and his eyes were blank, just waiting to die.

 

All I can say is that thanks to XXX's program, all our horses have overcome their issues. I don't care what the future brings, just as I don't dwell on what happened to those poor animals in the past. I cannot change the past, and I cannot forsee the future. All I can do is live in the 'now' and do what I think is best for the horses. So far, XXX has turned out to be the best, and if you would see my horses, you would agree.

 

Dave, as for this comment:

 

Here are some statistics on domestic abuse. You will see that nearly a million women a year are being abused. How much of that is being done in the name of love? Does the fact that over a million people a year are attracted to this type of behavior mean that it is good?

 

Counter question: Does it mean that all relationships are bad? Only those that are filled with abuse are bad. Sorry, Dave, there is absolutely NO abuse going on in XXX's teachings. If students make mistakes, it's them who make the mistakes. If a student messes up a math test, that doesn't mean the teacher doesn't understand math, it only means that the student didn't get it.

 

Enough said, I'm outa here. Enjoy the rest of your discussion.

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Carey wrote: ...... but these young inexperienced instructors that they have with no life experience prance around forbidding anything of the sort.  That has been one of my main concerns with the whole thing. 




 

Oh, I forgot to comment to this: Carey, I have a hard time believing that anybody can forbid anything. After all, this is a free country, and you can do whatever you want to, as long as you don't harm anybody or anything else in the process. XXX has no policy whatsoever that would kick you out of the program, if you were to go against some of the recommendations they make. Their recommendations are that you shouldn't start colts until you are at a certain level. I am a very inexperienced rider, and I started JoDi myself. I experienced the 'green on green makes black and blue' many times (before XXX) - I'm not going to get a well trained horse just because it is recommended. But nobody has ever said anything that would make me feel uncomfortable about it.

 

'Forbidding' is a very strong, dictatorial word, and I bet that in your heart you know better.

Waldo, this is Dr. Deb. Well, if you ever attend one of my clinics, you will find out that I can, and do, forbid some things. On the list of forbidden things would be running martingales, standing martingales or tiedowns; tack nosebands and/or tack breastbands, tacks in the saddle pad; chains, caustics, or stacks; any type of tight or restrictive noseband, especially flash or dropped nosebands; riding horses in halters in the horsemanship class; use of bits that are designed to work by hurting the horse. You are also forbidden to ignore or disobey instructions during the time the class is proceeding.

You see that there are some things forbidden in this Forum, also -- such as naming "Clinician XXX" -- and you're OK about obeying this, just as I expect you would be OK about obeying anything on the above list, at least after asking me 'why' and receiving a cogent answer.

The difference between the sort of 'forbidding' which I can, and do, engage in, and the sort that Carey is mentioning, is that in my forbidding there is no intention to co-opt a person's loyalty, or to indoctrinate. -- Dr. Deb

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 08:12 am by DrDeb

Leah
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Tutora I have given a little more thought to your uncomfortable feelings about the video...and actually your question has spurred a question from me to Dr Deb that is on the same topic.

I have never asked before because I did not want to appear to be challenging the elderly teacher-but now I realize I need to understand the answer as do you.

I purchased a video of the teacher a few months back. It is a multi dvd pack that shows a clinic. In one part the rider is trying to get the horse to cross a tarp.

The horse is not ok with this request. He is so not ok with it he is very emotionally torn by it. Things get really really bad....or that is how I interpreted it.

The horse gets pressed more and more through the process. He is not given time to adjust, moved away from the object to become ok with it at a distance or any other option I was thinking.

It felt so bad to me I had to stop the DVD several times and it took many watchings to get through.

The good news is by the end the horse gets it and finally crosses the tarp.

Now, it seems to me I was misreading something because...well...it is the only answer that can make sense. I still don't know what I am missing from that DVD.

So I guess I am wondering if the same thing happens often in videos when the viewer is not there in the moment.

I hope Dr Deb has a chance to address this-I will be very interested in her response!

Leah, this is Dr. Deb. The answer to your question is contained in this quote from Ray Hunt: Leah, you can't go through something bad and come out good on the other side.

"Not giving the horse a chance to adjust" and "pressuring him" are exactly the same thing as the handler/rider not understanding what their approach and actions mean TO THE HORSE.

Our elderly teacher used to tell this story: Once upon a time there were two brothers. This was about 1917, when automobiles were still rare. One of the brothers was quick and capable, while the other brother was slow.

They were out on their property one day building a barn. About mid-afternoon, they heard a noise out on the road, and there came a model-A Ford, chugging its way along. Both brothers stopped to look. After a few moments, though, the quick brother went back to work. The slow brother just stood there gaping.

Pretty soon the quick brother says to the slow brother, "Come on, Billy! Hurry up."

And Billy slowly turns his head around, with a kind of sad look on his face, and he says, "but ah caint."

Do you understand this story, Leah? You must NEVER "push through", at any time, for any reason. You must instead learn the difference between Rough and Firm, which story I have told in another thread some time ago. -- Dr. Deb

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 08:20 am by DrDeb

Apples
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Isn't that an example of where the destination becomes more important than the journey? That is why I'm more prone to be drawn to clinicians who provide the rider (or the horse) with a small light to give them direction and show them the next few steps of their journey, than the one who comes in with flood lights and cattle prods (figuratively speaking) to get them to the "end". The unfortunate thing is that so many consumers only feel their money is best spent if they get the latter.

Last edited on Mon Oct 27th, 2008 01:16 pm by Apples

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Murderer, rapist, abuser ..... and now cattleprods? Watch out xxx, people here sure are on to you. Can't hide the fact anymore that you are the worlds cruelest human being. Waldo, this is Dr. Deb. Try not to get honked off here. I have deleted Dave G.'s more extreme posts because they were, in fact, inappropriate. Nevertheless, I also want you to go back up above and read all the boldface replies that I have placed in individual posts, including those by Dave G. and Blue Flame. -- Dr. Deb

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 06:49 am by DrDeb

Tutora
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Thanks for your reply, Waldo. It sounds like your horses have been lucky to come to you. I doubt my troubled reaction to XX will go away, but if it's helped you and your horses, as Dr. Deb said in an earlier reply to you-- that's fine. I must clarify one thing that started my day off with a good laugh before I need to get to my work-- Tutora is actually my rather bossy ( to other horses if her hay pile rights are questioned) mellow but hot, sweet yet sharp, Lusitano mare. She's from bull-fighting lines and I think if she did cow work she could stampede a herd through a fence with just a look. She's a great but tough lady; "polite" doesn't quite describe her complexity. ---Elynne

Tutora
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Hi Waldo-- I'm not sure if you know this-- "the elderly teacher" that Leah spoke of and XX are not the same person.

christie
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I remember Leah telling this story. This kind of thing is what gets me confused between 'backing' off or pushing the horse through things in a more demanding way.

BTW, I think we can mention the elderly teacher since Dr D approves of him. :-)

Christie, I mention our elderly teacher's name here as seldom as possible. This was his expressed desire. -- Dr. Deb

 

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 06:53 am by DrDeb

Tutora
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Hi Leah-- I'd like to hear Dr. Deb's view on your question, too. Bettina Drummond was a student of Nuno Olivera for many years. They each respected each other a great deal, I believe. However, Bettina told a story of a time when Nuno Olivera did not live up to his own ideals: Bettina's horse was reluctant to learn to bow; a 12 year old (I think) Bettina returned from school to her horse in Portugal and found him with rope burns from being roughly taught to bow. She walked into the arena and told everyone (including Nuno) they'd better not hurt her horse again. Then she taught her horse to bow herself- with sugar, I believe. The masterful horseman and horse lover- Nuno- apologized to her. This story was in "Horse of Kings" magazine as part of an interview with Bettina about 5 years ago.  Whether or not there was a good reason for what you saw in the DVD, I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't expect perfection from anyone nor lose respect for them from isolated incidents of real or apparent callousness. I and my generous horses have to live with my own thick-headed self, after all. But I am also always responsible for being my horses' voice even to those whose authority I accept.  -- Elynne

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Hi Christie -Your confusion is familiar to me, too. I'd like to hear Dr. Deb's view on this even more. I've previously done the "pushing through" but now thanks to Dr. Deb I'm finding the "backing off" gets us places in a much more truly accepting state and the horses and I like that. But maybe there's a balance between the two that I don't get at this point.     - Elynne

Elynne, yes; and backing off does not mean that you give up your objective, note well. But you present yourself to your horse in a way that the horse can understand. And if he doesn't understand the presentation you make the first time, then you reach within yourself to find another way to present it, until you find the way. -- Dr. Deb

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 08:24 am by DrDeb

Leah
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These questions are all related to my question but you all used the better phrasing.

What *I* saw on the video was pushing through...and it seemed *to me* that backing off would have been better.

It was very confusing!

Leah, they "push through" because their real objective is to have the horse PERFORM. Or I should say -- PERFORM ANYWAY. This is despite whatever highminded philosophy they pitch to customers whom they hope to retain. Their real intentions are bodied forth in their actions.

One of the hardest tasks I usually have in clinics, when I first meet a group of people, is to get them to stop PERFORMING for my benefit. They do this, of course, whether they have been with Clinician XXX or with any of the conventional types of Western or English instruction. It is a habit they acquire, first, because they have always been praised in riding lessons when their horse finally PERFORMS (the turn, the shoulder-in, the canter departure, or whatever). They do it secondly because nothing better has been offered them.

This is the proof that there is no meaningful difference between Clinician XXX and any "conventional" type or style of riding -- you would be lucky to find an instructor in the "conventional" horse world who approaches going across the diagonal as the sum-total of the individual steps which compose the diagonal, or who presents himself to the horse and then is content to let the chips fall where they may -- knowing that this process, too, is, on a larger scale, exactly the same as stepping across the diagonal. One cannot GO anywhere on a horse, but you may find that you ARRIVE some places.

Can a person spend a half hour, or three minutes, alone with their horse on the ground and effectively get something across to him, calm him, render him confident, render him motivated? Yes, so long as you never ask him to perform! The horse knows nothing of performance! -- Dr. Deb

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 08:37 am by DrDeb

Blue Flame
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I think it could depend on what he was looking for  - the elderly teacher's objective might have been something different than any of us might think it was.

i.e. Maybe it wasn't about the tarp . . . . maybe that was merely a useful prop for setting up a situation.

Last edited on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 12:37 am by Blue Flame

christie
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Well, I had a situation like this come up last week because they fixed the pastures around the gates and they had laid out black material on the ground. I had to get my horse over this to get out the gate! We started by getting 2 feet on(the usual routine)and then she ended up 'leaping' onto it and then off and getting her feet all caught up on it(yes, my horse can PROVE that all things like this are so dangerous.)    :-)    I often wonder how assertive I should be and if I was not more assertive already..or all this time, that perhaps she'd be better about all the different things under her feet that she despises.

Leah
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Blue Flame, would you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts that you shared with me elsewhere?

I think you hit the nail on the head :-)

Alex from Canberra
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Blue Flame wrote:

"i.e. Maybe it wasn't about the tarp . . . . maybe that was merely a useful prop for setting up a situation"

Having just been in a clinic with Ray where there was a mule in the class, I had to realise that the problem wasn't the mule it was me and my relationship with my horse. I can still hear Ray chuckling! I had never had an experience with my 19 year old horse that had bought that kind of reaction to the surface before.

As far as getting through it goes, I think it is very much about timing and being able to read your horse. When you can say forward, when you can stop for a moment, when you can go back, when you can say 'job well done' and finish. I personally find this much easier on the ground as I can see the horses face and that helps me no end. I find the horse harder to read under saddle and go more of instinct and feel and probably get it wrong more often. Especially when there are mules around! For me I only started understanding this from having someone help me by telling me the moments when the horse was subtly giving, resisting, about to move etc. It was having someone explain to me when the horse was having a thought about doing something and getting me to be able to catch it before the action.

 

Leigh in SoCal
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"For me I only started understanding this from having someone help me by telling me the moments when the horse was subtly giving, resisting, about to move etc. It was having someone explain to me when the horse was having a thought about doing something and getting me to be able to catch it before the action."

Alex, how true your words ring in relation to your Ray Hunt clinic experience.  For me, riding with him was one of the most enlightening, and humbling, of events.  His clinic gave me so much to hope for, and so much to work on, for the rest of my equine-related life, especially in the feeling of those subtle gives/attempts the horse is making, and timing an appropriate (read subtle) release thereto, or, as DB always says (loose paraphrase):  how little will it take to communicate what you'd like from your horse.  Dr. Deb has long recommended a book entitled Zen in the Art of Archery, which I read shortly before going to RH in 2005; something about your post says to me you'd really enjoy it, or perhaps you've already read it.

Happy trails...

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Leigh,

I think you credit me with being way brighter than I am. If I could have got all of that from one Ray clinic, wow, think what I could get from two!

I must say with the Ray clinic, it was far more humbling than I expected. I took my "old hand" horse who I expected to behave in her usual very relaxed manner so that I could kind of sit back and take it all in. Well, that wasn't to be......

I think the biggest things for me were Ray's whole manner, he is so zen! So humble, humorous, quiet but definite. Wonderful things to aspire to. And I love the way that he laughs, that really got me through the hairy moments when  my horse was doing terre terre everywhere. Hey why should I worry?

A truly incredible experience!

Cheers,

Alex

DrDeb
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Folks -- I've been posting tonight within some of the individual sub-portions of this discussion. The number of posts that have come in while I was on the airplane and unable to respond yesterday make this necessary if I am to respond to individual queries. And I want to emphasize that there have been some good queries here, and some good and probably necessary discussion.

But there was one post -- by Billy -- that I want to respond to here. This is the content of the last post made by Billy, on Oct. 24th at 10:55 p.m. She says:

It's interesting that someone else has posted the latest posts as "Billy" who was not the original Billy.  I think the moderator should delete this thread now as it is becoming crazy.

OK, Billy -- apparently you don't realize that I have the capability to track all the IP's of anyone who posts here. Here is the log:

Post by Billy -- 208.85.219.208 (the original or first post that started this thread)

Post by Billy -- 208.85.217.160

Post by Billy -- 207.61.101.2

Post by Billy -- 207.61.101.2

Post by Billy -- 208.85.217.56

Post by Billy -- 208.85.217.56

Post by Billy -- 208.85.217.56

Post by Billy -- 208.85.218.245 (this is the last post, in which she claims that somebody else is pretending to be her).

Now, not all IP addresses are assigned in exactly the same manner, but all of them in which the first 8 numbers are alike refer to the same network (such as there might be a number of computers at one place of work, or within one home). The last one or two numbers in the string usually indicate an individual computer or workstation.

The initial strings '207' and '208' both designate Canada, and a Sam Spade search of the particular addresses used under Billy's name are, in fact, all from the same Canadian internet service provider.

From this, and from the times of posting, we conclude that Billy has always been Billy. She is posting from home in the afternoons, using more than one computer (one from Mama Bear, one from Papa Bear, and one from Little Baby Bear). She also posts from work -- from 8:30 to 9:30 in the morning -- using a machine with a '207' address. Wonder if the boss was monitoring while she was flaming?

We have also had, in this thread, 'Billy Backer', who is undoubtedly Billy's significant other -- not in attendance at the original seminar, by the way -- he posts from 208.85.219.112 at 3:00 in the afternoon. Maybe he's been out of a job for some time and has little else to do.

And finally, we have 'Billy's Right', whom we recognize from a year ago -- the writing style is characteristic, although this is a new moniker. 'Billy's Right' is probably having to go farther afield now to find a computer from which she can post here, as I banned about six of her previous addresses from the Australian code '203', and we won't be hearing from her again for a while I think, as I banned the most recent address too. I don't mind a heated discussion but insanity is more than I have time for.

But to get back to Billy: I took the time to perform the research necessary to make sure of where Billy has been posting from, so that I might act in all fairness. The research having been done, however, Billy is once again revealed as a liar.

Now folks, I want to tell you again -- this is not the first time for this type of situation. Yet another IP on the banned list belongs to a woman who had been with Clinician XX and who brought her horse to a seminar I was doing. And when I saw her horse fleeing his hindquarters away from her whenever she approached his haunches, and when I told her 'this is what I notice', and asked her to do differently, she became extremely angry. And she threatened to turn me in to government authorities, told me I'd never be invited back to that barn or that town, ran around to all the other people at the event trying to engender support, pursued me with registered letters afterwards, and came into the Forum with personal insults.

She could be a clone of Billy, but they live in different countries, at the opposite ends of the globe!

But though they are far apart, they are not far enough away from Clinician XXX. Theirs is behavior typical of those who are indoctrinated, and their treatment of me has greatly helped me to understand how the Nazis could have perpetrated all the atrocities that they did during WWII, or how Bin Laden could have wished to kill thousands of innocent people in the Twin Towers in New York. "If I can't have it, you can't have it either."

Now I am declaring as Forum Moderator that this is the end of this thread -- please note, all further posts in this thread will be deleted. I have also deleted some other posts in this thread -- not in most cases with any intent to censor anyone, but just to prune it down and keep it focused -- and what remains of it I would intend to keep in public view. For there is a value in keeping some things that are ugly. When General Dwight Eisenhower's army liberated Auschwitz, and they came in there and they saw all the emaciated prisoners, and the heaps of dead bodies so thin they were like skeletons, and the gas chambers and the ovens -- Eisenhower ordered all the army photographers to use every single bit of film and every photographic plate, and document the entire camp, just as they found it. And he said, "We are doing this because in fifty years, some son of a bitch will come along and say 'this never happened'." -- Dr. Deb

ADDENDUM: PLEASE FOLKS, I REALLY MEANT IT WHEN I SAID THIS WAS "END OF DISCUSSION".

PLEASE DO THE COURTESY OF OBEYING -- DO NOT POST ANYTHING MORE ON THIS THREAD.

If you have other types of questions, please refer to other threads or, if your topic isn't covered, you may start new threads. Thanks -- Dr. Deb

 

 

 

Last edited on Wed Oct 29th, 2008 03:12 am by DrDeb




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